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December 31, 2013
NBA: Burke does it again, Hardaway & Crawford excelling
Former Michigan point guard Trey Burke continues to excel in the NBA. The Utah Jazz standout might be the leading contender for rookie of the year honors, averaging 13.8 points, 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game in 22 games played.
His latest heroics came Monday in an 83-80 win over Charlotte, a game in which he scored 21 points, including the game-winning drive and four-footer off the glass.
Burke Postgame Interview
Burke's driving layup with 19.1 seconds remaining put the Jazz (10-24) up three.
"That's why I went to the basket. I figured he (rookie Kemba Walker, who was defending) looked at the other shot clock and thought I was going to shoot the shot," Burke said. "I felt I could get a better shot and went after it."
Burke is shooting 39.8 percent from the floor, 36.4 from three-point range and 93.2 percent from the free throw line. His high game of 30 points came in an 86-82 victory at Orlando Dec. 18, a game in which he added eight assists and seven rebounds.
Veteran Jamal Crawford, meanwhile, has moved into the starting lineup in Los Angeles after years of being one of the NBA's best sixth men.
Crawford is only shooting 38.6 percent in the eight games as starter, but he's averaging 16.7 points, 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game. He's averaged 19.1 points in eight games in the starting lineup.
"When you're a starter, you can be a little bit more patient," Crawford said. "You don't have to rush as much. Off the bench, you have to make something happen. It's not necessarily as a scorer, but you have to have an immediate positive impact. When you're starting, you can kind of feel the game out a little bit better."
Finally, rookie Tim Hardaway, Jr. is a candidate for Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month after putting up big numbers most of the month. He started the month with a 21-point game in a loss to New Orleans, going 5-for-8 from three-point range, following up with double-digit games in consecutive wins (12 and 15).
Hardaway has notched six double-digit scoring games since and is now averaging 9.1 points, 1.0 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game. Some highlights: Tim Hardaway, Jr..