San Antonio • Al Jefferson stood just beyond the 3-point line and raised his arms like a grandfather about to be tackled by loving heirs. Twenty-five feet in front of him, a glowing red light rimmed the backboard.
It was a picture, and a truly hopeful moment for a Utah Jazz team that, before Friday, seemingly forgot how to have them.
A 3-pointer dropped through the image, slashing the stillness. A corner jump shot could have defined one Jazz player’s tenure with the team. It might have saved a season.
Marvin Williams made a 3-pointer at the end of regulation against the best team in the West. But the biggest shot of his first season with the Jazz ultimately only extended their latest crushing defeat. Indivcative of a crumbling season, the Jazz lost 104-97 to the San Antonio Spurs in overtime.
“It’s fun if it would have been [the end of the] game,” Jefferson said. “When he hit that shot, we knew we had another five minutes to fight.”
The Jazz (34-35) had fought. For 48 minutes, they turned in their best performance in a month, but the result was their 11th loss in their last 14 games and their eighth straight defeat on the road.
But against a Spurs team that has only lost four times this season at home, the Jazz showed something.
“If we continue to play the way we played tonight for the rest of these 12 games,” Jefferson said, “I still think we have a great chance.”
The Jazz remain 1 ½ games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for eighth in the West after L.A. lost to the Washington Wizards on Friday at Staples Center.
“Anything can happen,” Gordon Hayward said. “I definitely still believe, but we can’t keep taking [losses], that is for sure.”
Mo Williams led the Jazz with 23 points and eight assists, while Jefferson added 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 19 points and 16 rebounds as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich became the 12th coach to win 900 games.Next Page »