Utah Jazz: Triple H (Hill, Hayward, Hood) is Back and On Point

The Utah Jazz’s Triple H Trio of George Hill, Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood is finally back in action and looked great on Thursday night.

As George Hill made his long-awaited return to action for the Utah Jazz on Thursday night, the starting lineup of Hill, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert was active for just the second time all season.

And while the 76ers kept it close through three quarters, the Jazz were able to pull away in the fourth quarter by outscoring Philly 30 to 9 and looked much more like the team we’ve expected them to be all season in that final period.

Derrick Favors still continues to struggle as he went just 1-of-7 from the field for four points and while Rudy Gobert played well, his 3-of-11 shooting from the foul line prevented him from reaching a twelfth straight triple-double.

But what was really sensational about Utah’s starting lineup was the phenomenal play of the Triple H – Hill, Hayward and Hood.

Jazz fans have been pining for Hill’s healthy return for a month now and although his solid play last night came against a less than foreboding opponent, it was great to see him outscore his season average on such an efficient shooting performance. Hill put up 21 points on an impressive 80 percent shooting from the field while sinking both of his three-point attempts.

But what’s so great about Hill is that not only is he a phenomenal player, but he also makes his teammates around him significantly better, particularly the two that round out the aforementioned trio, Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood. Both finished the game against the Sixers with 20 points on efficient shooting nights.

And if Utah can consistently get 60+ points out of those three starters, they are going to be extremely tough to beat. Earlier in the year it looked like the Triple H factor was going to play a large role in the Jazz’s success and though their time together has been quite limited due to injury, if Thursday’s performance is any indication of what we can expect, then Jazz fans are in for quite a treat in the coming months.

The Jazz are undefeated when both Gordon Hayward and George Hill play together (as well as when all three play together, obviously) and Hood and Hill are 9-3 together. In the six games that all three have logged together, Hayward is averaging 24.8 points, Hill is averaging 20.2 and Hood is averaging 15.

Add those together and what do you get? Exactly 60 points per game out of the trio. While six games is a small sample size, the trio’s performance on Thursday was less of an anomaly and more of the norm.

Thus it’s hard to put a ceiling on just how dominant this trio can be now that all are back and healthy, a situation that hopefully will maintain itself for a longer period of time than what we’ve grown accustomed to.

It’s been a long and somewhat frustrating wait for Jazz fans to get their starters back in action. And while there’s still a little bit of healing to be done as Favors gets back to the dominant force he’s capable of being and as Dante Exum and Alec Burks continue to recover, the Jazz are about as healthy as they’ve been all season.

Utah is currently sitting at fifth place in the Western Conference at 20-13 and just 1.5 games behind the fourth place Clippers. If Thursday’s performance and stat line for Hill, Hayward and Hood are a preview of what’s ahead and if these 60+ point performances can continue, the Jazz could very well surge up the standings riding on the shoulders of the Triple H.

All stats courtesy of NBA.com

This article originally appeared on