More vintage play-by-play from Hot Rod Hundley, the voice of the Jazz and the man whose presence on the staff kept their nickname relevant. On December 20, 1986, Utah returned to the scene of Darrell Griffith’s big game against Chicago, where he’d scored 41 points on March 9, 1985. It was Mark Eaton’s turn, though. He was supposed to be sitting out with the flu but instead checked in with a dominant performance.
Green left corner to Tripucka. Three pointer? No – he drives to base left. Underneath to Big Mark, try to go up for the shot and he’s fouled. [Craig Bolerjack talking]
Left to Gene Banks, former Duke University star. Banks guarded by Tripucka, now to Paxson left corner, Waiters sets a screen. Eaton comes over. Reverse shot blocked by Eaton, picked up by Hansen!
Rebound to Oakley, downcourt to John Paxson. Paxson right side to Banks. He’ll go back to Jordan. Drive in to Eaton, tried to reverse it.
[Bolerjack talking] There’s Tripucka, down low to Eaton. Mark across the middle with a left handed hook, it’s good! The Big Fella! He has four points and the Jazz take the lead!
Jordan right with him, Green with the ball. Ricky left to right. He’ll take it in the right corner to Bob Hansen. Low to Eaton, good position for the hook. No, he turns for the jumper – bank it in! It counts and he’s fouled! That’s six points for Mark Eaton!
Four buckets and the Jazz have the three point lead. Michael Jordan down the right side. He’ll go up top to Charles Oakley, drive by Malone, and Eaton is there to block it! What a play by Big Mark!
Green looks in, takes it low to Tripucka. Up top to the Mailman, five seconds for a shot, inside to Big Mark, a left hook, good! Mark Eaton with 9 points! Incredible! The best he’s ever played in his life! In a period of less than eight minutes, and he wasn’t even supposed to play!
Jordan right to left, Eaton intimidates, pass off Oakley out of bounds! Jazz ball!
…the corner. Two years ago Griffith had 41 against Jordan here. Here’s Bailey for the layup, right side, good! Big T!
And he knocks it away and steals. Great play by Jordan. He leads his team in steals. Jordan down the right side to Paxson. Another jumper from 18. It’s up – no good. Rebound underneath: Brad Sellers. Blocked by Eaton. They call a foul.
…find Elston Turner up top to Dave Corzine, looks back door, now finds it over to Steve Coulter, Coulter free throw line to Mike Brown, jumper blocked by Eaton! Grabbed by Bailey…
…to Jordan, he does. Jordan guarded by Griffith, they isolate him. Jordan drives, Eaton is there. He forces it up! Air ball! Corzine’s got it, double pump blocked by Eaton! What a play by Big Mark! And it goes out of bounds – Jazz basketball! [Bolerjack talking] Unbelieveable by Eaton, intimidates Jordan to force up an airball, and then he blocks Corzine’s shot.
He’s set up by the base by Bailey. Here’s Eaton, low right. Mark back to Griff. Three pointer from the parking lot on the way. Yes!
Jordan brings it down, hands it back, Jordan left to right, spin down the middle. Eaton is there, blocks it easily!
Faking left, taking it right, Paxson with him, John over the right corner to Hansen, right and left to the paint, underneath to Big Mark. Nice feed. Mark has it knocked away and we’ve got a foul. Beautiful…
Paxson wide right to Michael Jordan. He’ll fake left, go right to the base. Hansen stays with him. Jordan cuts the corner, drive under, reverse it, no good – never got iron. Picked up by Oakley, his shot blocked by Eaton!
Sending down to Granville Waiters, Waiters cross court to Michael Jordan, drive the alley, Eaton there to intimidate, underneath to Waiters, and a three second lane violation. And the presence of Mark Eaton again stopped the two point play.
Michael Jordan – reverse shot wildly up there, tipped by Corzine, no good. Rebound Corzine, Eaton makes him eat it. Picked up by Malone down court to Green. What a play by Eaton – intimidating Jordan again and then he blocked Corzine!
Off balance lay up no good – again Eaton intimidated. Rebound to Corzine and he passes off.
[Bolerjack talking] Paxson up top with the ball. He’ll swing left to Michael Jordan. Inside Oakley. Perfect position for the ball. Take it to the hoop. Eaton swats it down! It goes to Corzine, underneath to Sellers. He puts it up – shot around the rim no good. Eaton rebounds! Mark doing an outstanding job for Utah!
Coulter hippity hops front court straightaway. Stockton with him. Behind the back dribble – Eaton is there to block it and Banks saves it on the court to Corzine but he stepped out of bounds. Jazz basketball!
And Sloan’s number hangs high in the rafters here – a retired jersey. Here’s Stockton underneath to Big Mark. Slam dunk! Eaton with twelve points for Utah!
Parallel to the line, he’ll take it left-to-right to the free throw line. Terminates right side to Big T. Thurl backs it out low to Big Mark. Eaton hands back to Bailey – beautiful feed – slam dunk! Thurl down the middle
To Bailey low to Malone – bad pass! Never even looked. Knocked away! Malone gets it back! Fall away jumper left side – no good. Eaton knocks it down, picks it up, takes a little lay up, scores!
Jordan has 24. Down low Malone to Green out front. Seven point Chicago lead. Here’s Malone left-to-right, underhand layup no good. Eaton tips it in!
…Hansen, Jordan hands it out top to Paxson, Paxson down low inside Banks, blocked by Eaton! It’s knocked free and the Jazz come up with it! Bobby Hansen! 38 seconds left in the game!
[Bolerjack talking up Eaton’s numbers]
Now it sets the scene for Chicago to win it – if they get a bucket – possibly win it. [Bolerjack] Here we go. All right! Banks out front to Corzine. Jazz a game group hanging in there. Corzine dribbles left side. Low to Jordan. Eaton tries to help. Eaton knocks it away! Bailey’s got it! Bailey’s got it! We’ve got a foul and there’s six seconds left!
Here’s Bailey to guard the inbound play on Banks. Banks holds on. They bring it out front. There’s Elston Turner. He takes an off balance jumper – it’s no good! Tipped out of bounds! It’s over! The Jazz win the game! The Jazz win the game! Great defense! Oh baby! That’s five out of six on the road and the Jazz on this trip have won three out of four and they win their 16th against 8 losses!