Utah Jazz: Players bond over triple OT win
NBA • Corbin looking for team growth, bonding.
Published: November 13, 2012 03:10PM
Updated: November 14, 2012 08:52AM
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Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) defends against Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

Boston • Andrea Gittens watched from her home in Bremerton, Wash., as the Jazz played to a third overtime Monday in Toronto, and she had a familiar, sinking feeling: Three overtimes wouldn’t be enough.

“She thought we were going to another overtime,” Jazz forward Marvin Williams said about his mother. “She’s like, ‘My heart couldn’t take another one.’ ”

Gittens remembers — because it is hard to forget — the last time Williams and the Jazz played in a game that went so long, even though they weren’t on the same side at the time.

Williams played for the Atlanta Hawks on March 25 when the Jazz lost 139-133 in the NBA’s first quadruple overtime game since 1997. Williams scored 16 points in 43 minutes that night.

On Monday, the Jazz avoided a fourth overtime by beating the Raptors 140-133 in a triple-overtime game that will be remembered for Al Jefferson’s second career 3-pointer and Paul Millsap’s 34 points. But Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he hopes the Jazz grow from Monday’s win as much as they did from last season’s loss.

All the lessons Corbin has preached through the team’s 4-4 start — patience, consistency, trust, resilience — were found in the victory.

“You can talk about it,” Corbin said, “but until you go through it with this group, you get this experience and you can grow from it then.”

The Jazz play the second game of a four-game East Coast road trip Wednesday at Boston, and Corbin is eager for more instant gratification than last season. The loss in Atlanta, the longest game in Jazz history, snapped a six-game winning streak for the Jazz and sent them into a run in which they lost five of seven. But yes, in Corbin’s mind, that was progress.

“Even though we lost the game last year,” Corbin said, “I thought we came together more as a result of being in that tough fight together.”

The Jazz finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak and earned the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.

The morning after their latest multiple-overtime victory, the Jazz were still, well, jazzed. Randy Foye spoke of the energy on the team bus and the mindset of, “We can do this.”

“We got on the plane, and everybody celebrated the win,” said the reserve guard, who scored 20 points against Toronto.

Derrick Favors, who played all 15 minutes of overtime Monday, described the postgame mood thusly: “Everybody talking, laughing, having fun.”

Then, the third-year forward said, “If we would have lost, it would have been quiet.”

Nobody bonds in the quiet.

“We just need to experience tough situations and have success in it,” Corbin said. “I think that helps you grow more when you have success, whether it’s a three-overtime game or [whatever]. I think we needed something to pull us closer together and to count on each other more.”

On Monday, they counted to 140, and three. They hope the result turns them into one.

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz

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Jazz’s OT win

• The Jazz played their third game of at least three OTs in 2012.

• Marvin Williams scored 16 points for the Hawks when the Jazz lost the longest game in team history March 25.