Utah Jazz: Foye goes ‘numb’ and carries Jazz to fourth-straight win
Foye’s 3-point barrage overshadows D-Will’s latest return to Utah.
Published: March 31, 2013 05:41PM
Updated: March 31, 2013 05:08PM
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Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) signs autographs for fans during pre game warmups before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on March 30, 2013.

Once, during a break in the booing, Randy Foye heard a call from the Brooklyn Nets bench.

“Don’t leave him,” Nets’ coach P.J. Carlesimo begged his team.

It didn’t matter. Foye tied a Utah Jazz record with eight 3-pointers Saturday, and led the Jazz to a 116-107 win over former Jazz point guard Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets.

“A couple of times,” Foye said, “they were up on me. I was three or four feet behind the line, they were basically heat checks. I said, ‘Hey, let me see if this one goes in.’ ”

Eight out of nine times, it did. Foye’s night matched the record set by Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek in 1994, when he made eight 3s against the Seattle SuperSonics.

Foye led the Jazz with 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting.

“One shot,” Al Jefferson said, “he took like six feet beyond the 3-point line. I said, ‘Wow.’ He was just on one tonight. It was good to see.”

The 18,008 in attendance at EnergySolutions Arena seemed hellbent on devoting the night to making Halloween sounds every time Williams, the former inhabitant of the No. 8 Jazz jersey, touched the ball. But Foye, a 40.5 percent 3-point shooter on the season, stole it back.

“He’s been a treat all year for us,” coach Tyrone Corbin said.

Mo Williams and Al Jefferson scored 20 points apiece for the Jazz, while Paul Millsap had nine points, six rebounds and a career-high nine assists.

But Foye’s best game as a member of the Jazz (38-36) couldn’t have come at a better time. The victory kept the Jazz a step ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers (38-36), thanks to the tiebreaker, for eighth in the Western Conference playoffs.

Starting with the Jazz down 61-55 with 8:50 left in the third quarter, Foye made three 3s in under 3 minutes, putting the Jazz up 71-65. They never trailed again.

The absurdity was contagious. With 7:25 left in the fourth quarter, Marvin Williams chest-passed the ball at the basket to beat the shot clock. It went in. Another 3-pointer, of course, to put the Jazz up 96-81.

Collective, the Jazz were 10-of-17 from behind the arc.

A pending free agent, Foye may or may not be around for the printing of next year’s media guide, which contains team records. But he’ll certainly be well represented on its pages. He added to his team record for 3-pointers in a season (now 159), set a record for 3s in a half (seven in the second), tied the record for 3s in a quarter (five in the third). His first 3, less than two minutes into the game, set the franchise record for most 3s by a Utah Jazz team (440) in a single season.

“It’s a feeling like your body is numb,” Foye said. “You’re just out there, in your own little world. Just running. And once you touch the ball and get an open look, it’s basically like throwing a rock in the ocean.”

Less than a week after losing their fourth straight game, the Jazz have now strung together four wins, including Friday’s 105-95 victory at Portland, which snapped a nine-game road losing streak.

“We have to play like if we lose we’re right back out of it,” Gordon Hayward said. “Because that’s how close it is.”

Williams scored 21 points and tallied 11 assists for the Nets, in his second game back at EnergySolutions Arena since being traded on Feb. 23, 2011.

Each time Williams got the ball, he was booed, the intensity of the din growing the longer he possessed it.

Foye could have made 20 3s, and no cheer, however, would have matched the one that followed a block by Hayward on Williams with 1:12 left in the first half. As Williams appeared set for an easy fast break layup, Hayward closed in from the side, cloaking Williams. The former Jazz All-Star struggled and squirmed, like a kitten trying to escape from beneath a blanket. When he finally shot, Hayward swatted the ball away and Williams fell to the court.

“Gordon’s been doing a tremendous job all year long of chasing plays down,” Corbin said, “and making plays when there don’t seem to be a play to make on the defensive end.”

The game mirrored Foye’s performance. For the Jazz, it was a heat check, too. Six nights earlier in Dallas, the Jazz lost their fourth game in a row, fell to two games below .500 and were fading from playoff contention.

“We were right on the brink of going the other way,” Corbin said. “If you listen to all the talk and the naysayers and the people counting you out and let them get in your head, it can affect you.”

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz

Storylines

R Randy Foye ties Jeff Hornacek’s franchise record with eight 3-pointers as the Jazz beat Brooklyn 116-107.

• Former Jazz point guard Deron Williams scores 21 points and tallies 11 assists in his second game in Utah since being traded in February 2011.