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Houston hands Utah Jazz most lopsided home loss in franchise history

Published January 29, 2013 12:06 pm

Houston hands hapless Utah its most lopsided home loss in franchise history.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The narrative Tyrone Corbin wanted to weave was that this, this thing, the world premiere of arguably the worst night in Utah Jazz basketball, was "one loss."

Close, Mr. Corbin. It was actually one hell of a loss.

You wanted drama? Should have flipped to HBO. A little fire? A news talk show would have served you better. A happy story? Don't look directly at the Utah Jazz on Monday night.

The 125-80 loss to the Houston Rockets would have been the worst since the Jazz moved to Salt Lake City from New Orleans in 1979 before Kevin Murphy made a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left.

"I didn't even know the score," Murphy said.

He was lucky. It was the worst home loss in franchise history by 12 points, and the fifth worse overall including the years in New Orleans and the most lopsided since a 46-point insult to the eventual-champion Lakers in 2000 — a game in which the Jazz started Olden Polynice at center and one of the rare nights current assistant coach Jeff Hornacek didn't even attempt a 3-pointer.

How did they achieve such a feat this time around?

"We were terrible," Corbin said, opting for an adjective that describes such atrocities as boiled Brussels sprouts and fifth-grade band performances of selections from "Les Miserables."

But Brussels sprouts, people can digest. And at least folks appreciate the effort by a beginning band.

The Utah Jazz were booed by the 18,387 fans present at EnergySolutions Arena starting midway through a second quarter in which they were outscored 29-17, starting the onslaught.

"If I was them," said center Al Jefferson, who scored 10 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. "I would have booed us, too. That's what we love about our fans. They're going to tell us the truth. We should have been booing ourselves."

The game was tied at 22 late in the first quarter, but the Jazz were outscored 103-57 in the final 37 minutes.

James Harden scored 25 points to lead the Rockets, while center Omer Asik pulled down 19 rebounds.

Randy Foye's 12 points led the Jazz, but he, Jefferson and Derrick Favors, who finished with 11 points, were the only Jazz players to score in double figures.

DeMarre Carroll dressed quickly after the game, and said he had never been through one as lopsided as this one.

"We didn't have it today," he said. "It was one of them days. You lose by 50 or you lose by one, it's still a loss."

Searching for a comparison, Jefferson pointed to a 20-point defeat at Indiana in December, in which they trailed by their previous season-high of 32 points.

"That was pretty bad," he said. "This is worse because it was on our home floor."

The Jazz were without reserve guard Gordon Hayward, who leads one of the most efficient benches in the NBA. Hayward was held out after suffering a shoulder sprain late in overtime of the Jazz's 114-110 win over the Pacers on Saturday.

"It changed our rotations," Corbin said, "where we could put the ball in a different guys hands at different times to be able to attack the basket."

Jefferson agreed that Hayward was missed, but said it wouldn't have mattered if Hayward had been healthy, or if Mo Williams weren't out with an injured right thumb.

"We could have had Michael Jordan in his prime with us tonight," Jefferson said. "If we played the way we played, it wouldn't matter."

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz —

Worst losses in Jazz history

56 • Milwaukee 158, New Orleans Jazz 102, March 14, 1979

46 • Golden State 150, Utah 104, Jan. 15, 1986

46 • L.A. Lakers 130, Jazz 84, March 5, 1986

46 • L.A. Lakers 113, Utah 67, Feb. 4, 2000

45 • Houston 125, Utah 80, Jan. 28, 2013

Worst home losses in Jazz history

45 • Houston 125, Utah 80, Jan. 28, 2013

33 • Milwaukee 126, Utah 93, Nov. 18, 1980

30 • Houston 106, Utah 76, Feb. 12, 2003