Washington • Not even the Jazz could lose to the Washington Wizards.
Despite scoring fewer points than they had in any game this season, committing 19 turnovers and falling behind by double digits before making their first basket, the Jazz were no match for the Wizards when it came to futility on Saturday, winning 83-76 in a game that was as ugly as it was satisfying.
“Fortunate,” was Paul Millsap’s best description for the Jazz. “Any team’s capable of beating you, especially at home.”
That maxim even includes the Wizards.
The Jazz (5-6) gave the NBA’s last winless team hope throughout, spotting Washington (0-8) a 13-point first quarter lead and falling behind by eight after erasing the previous deficit.
“We didn’t play our best basketball,” coach Tyrone Corbin said.
But the Jazz pieced together a solid fourth quarter. They finally closed a game with some energy, snapped a two-game losing streak and evened their record on the now-concluded East Coast road trip at 2-2.
Al Jefferson led all scorers with 21 points. After scoring just four points in the first half, Jefferson scored 17 in the third quarter as the Jazz’s quarter included a an 11-2 run that put them up 80-69.
“We couldn’t afford to start that third quarter off like [the first half],” Jefferson said. “We were down two [40-38] at the half and I just had to get it going, make some shots.”
The uncertainties of a winless team were what concerned coach Tyrone Corbin the most.
“We can’t look at their record and think we’re going to come in here and get it,” Corbin said. “We had to play, and they showed that in the first half.”
Concerned about his team’s propensity for poor starts, Corbin started Derrick Favors and Randy Foye in place of Marvin Williams and Gordon Hayward. The “big” lineup, so effective earlier on the road trip, was disastrous for the Jazz. With six minutes gone in the first quarter, they trailed 15-2.Next Page »