Jazz: Matthews moves on from missed tip-in
The last thing Wesley Matthews wanted to do after Saturday's loss was relive just how close he came to tipping in what would have been the winning basket at the buzzer to beat the Lakers.
"I'm not going to watch the replay," Matthews said. "I was looking at it. I saw it not go in one time and that was enough."
After Deron Williams missed a long jumper with 1.8 seconds left, Matthews saw his tip-in bounce off the rim and backboard before rolling away. "There's no telling how much time is left, so I just tried to get it up on the rim," Matthews said.
The storybook ending to Matthews' improbable rise will have to wait, but Kobe Bryant offered praise of the undrafted rookie from Marquette on Sunday.
"He plays hard, he competes," Bryant said. "For a player that comes seemingly out of nowhere and has to fight for everything, that's what you like to see."
Back in the 1994 conference semifinals, the Jazz jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Denver won three games to even the series. The Jazz won Game 7, but coach Jerry Sloan was asked Sunday if that offered any historical framework now with his team facing a 3-0 deficit.
"If you have to go back to that, you're drawing straws," Sloan said. "I think you just come and lay your body out there on the line and make sure that you say to yourself when you're walking off the floor, 'I did the best I could do,' and that's all you can ask."
For one of the most polarizing players in franchise history, Carlos Boozer could be playing his final home game tonight as a member of the Jazz. Boozer developed into a two-time All-Star while in Utah and helped lead the Jazz to the 2007 Western Conference finals.
His tenure was marked by both injury -- he missed 138 of 492 games in six seasons -- and controversy, culminating last summer when Boozer asserted that he and the Jazz had agreed to a trade, going on to list Chicago and Miami as preferred destinations.
"I haven't thought about it," said Boozer, who will be a free agent this summer. "The only thing I've been thinking about is trying to get a win."
Keep the change
Sloan said he wasn't considering any lineup changes for Game 4 and didn't sound inclined to dramatically increase Andrei Kirilenko 's minutes. Kirilenko played 17 minutes in his return from a strained left calf in Game 3.
"We'll just have to kind of see what's going on with our other people and see how he's playing," Sloan said. "I'd hate to put Andrei out there and extend him for a long period of time.
"He's coming back from an injury and I'm not in the business of wanting to try to overdo it. I'd rather underdo it a little bit, because one game, I'm not going to try and screw anybody's career up on one game."
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