Jazz lose thriller in New Orleans, 88-86
New Orleans • Folks here believe the team name "Jazz" belongs to the city of New Orleans. The Hornets will just have to settle for having Utah's number.
The Jazz lost for the fifth time in seven games against the Hornets, this time 88-86 after a miscommunication between Mo Williams and Gordon Hayward allowed New Orleans' guard Greivis Vasquez to drive for the game-winning basket with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Paul Millsap made a rare 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining to tie the game at 86, but on New Orleans' ensuing drive, Vasquez drove right on the pick-and-roll. Williams, guarding Vasquez, bumped into Hayward, who tried to switch on to Vasquez but instead tumbled to the floor, allowing the former University of Maryland star a clear path to the basket.
"We were trying to switch," Hayward said. "It's loud in there, I was yelling 'switch' and he probably just didn't hear me. ... We can't let it get down to that type of play. We have to get a stop we should have put them away earlier."
The Jazz, who fell to 1-1 on the season, had their opportunities.
Mo Williams missed a turn-around 3-pointer from the top of the key as time expired. Randy Foye, who signed a one-year contract with the Jazz in the offseason, led the team with 20 points off the bench. Last year, a Jazz reserve scored 20 or more only four times.
But Foye missed a jump shot in the final minute that would have put the Jazz up 4, but instead barely grazed the rim and set up a New Orleans possession that resulted in Ryan Anderson's fifth 3-pointer of the game, which put the Hornets up 84-83 with 32.7 seconds left.
"Everything was going kind of crazy at the time, and I took a bad shot," Foye said.
It was a stunning result for the Jazz, who looked so good in their 113-94 win over Dallas on Wednesday, especially after New Orleans rookie forward Anthony Davis left the game for good in the second quarter with what was deemed to be a mild concussion.
For the Jazz, they can only hope that losing their first game of the season isn't a harbinger for the rest of November. They play 11 of their next 16 games on the road, including Saturday in San Antonio against the Spurs, who swept the Jazz out of last year's playoffs in first round.
"It was a tough loss, by all means," Mo Williams said, "but at the end of the day, we've got a tough one tomorrow."
At Friday's pregame shoot-around, coach Tyrone Corbin said the hallmarks of a team that wins on the road include "being a team that's been together for a while." On Friday, the Jazz looked very much like a team with several new faces in the second game of the season.
Marvin Williams, after a 21-point performance in Wednesday's season-opening win against Dallas, was limited to 5 points and only one of his six 3-point attempts. Rather than generate interior offense, which the Jazz expect with a deep rotation of big men, they instead settled time and again for 3-point shots.
The Jazz were 10-of-28 on 3-pointers, tying a team record for most attempts in a game, and eclipsing previous mark (27) for attempts in a game that ended after four quarters.
"We don't shoot a lot of jump shots," Corbin said. "That's not who we are. We've got to make sure we're attacking them inside."
One game removed from Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors combining to snare 39 rebounds, the Jazz barely reached that mark as a team. Led by nine boards from Favors, the Jazz outrebounded the Hornets 44-42.
However, the Jazz were outscored 56-36 in the paint, and did not shoot a free throw until the second quarter.
"We had some gaps defensively," Corbin said. "They were getting second shots, I thought they outworked us a little bit."
And that, Corbin would tell you, is not among the traits of a team that consistently wins on the road.