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Jazz notes: Slew of road games looming for Utah

Published December 12, 2012 8:32 pm

Jazz notes • Five of Utah's next six games are away from home.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For a team that plays poorly on the road, the remaining schedule for 2012 is daunting at best, doomsday at worst.

The Jazz endured a stretch in which 12 of their first 18 games were on the road. But in the short term, the next week and a half is even worse. The Jazz, who are 4-9 away from EnergySolutions Arena, will play five of their next six games on the road, including a four-game trip to the East Coast.

Throughout the season, coach Tyrone Corbin has said the Jazz need to figure out how to play on the road if they want to be competitive in the West.

They need look no further than their last opponent.

Entering Wednesday's game, the San Antonio Spurs were 11-2 on the road, including the famed loss at Miami when the team's stars were not present.

"It can be done," Corbin said of winning on the road.

Unfortunately for the Jazz, they lack the factors that boost the Spurs.

"It has to be done with veteran group of guys who understand who they are and how to play," Corbin said. "They don't care where they play, they play the same in any building. Guys understand, on their team especially, what it takes to win on the road."

The Jazz play at Phoenix on Friday, return for a Saturday home game against Memphis and then head out for four games, the first of which is Tuesday at Brooklyn.

Spurs not at 100 percent

Veteran Stephen Jackson rejoined the Spurs in Utah but did not play against the Jazz because of a fractured finger.

He has missed the past 11 games.

"He's not ready to play," coach Gregg Popovich said at his team's morning shootaround. "He's just lighter in the wallet — ready to go when he's healthy."

Popovich was referring to a $25,000 fine levied against Jackson by the NBA this week for threatening Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka on Twitter.

After Los Angeles' Metta World Peace and Ibaka were involved in a scuffle during a Laker-Thunder game, Jackson posted a message to the social networking site that said, "Somebody tell serg Abaka. He aint bout dis life. Next time he run up on me im goin in his mouth. That's a promise. He doin 2 much."

At the shootaround, Jackson told reporters, "It happened. I apologized for it. I paid my fine. I'm ready to move on. I spoke my mind. It wasn't right, and I knew it wasn't right. I dealt with the consequences, and that's about it. I'm ready to get back to playing basketball."