“We’ve seen this before,” Hayward said. “Hopefully we don’t go on a four- or five-game drought. It’s good that we get to play at home for a lot of these games. Denver’s going to be a big test.”
For more than a week, the Jazz have been pencils-down long before time was up. Each of their five wins has come by nine or more points. This is a team that seemed on the brink of disintegration following a blowout in Oklahoma City in March, and a subsequent home loss to the depleted Knicks.
With seven players headed for free agency, it’s easy to question what stake marquee players hold in this team. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, whose hundred-foot high likenesses currently wrap around EnergySolutions Arena, could both be gone next year. So could Mo Williams.
“We’ve known it all year long that the guys are whatever,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “But we’re a family now. ... It goes a long way to showing who you are.”
The Jazz beat the Trail Blazers, minus LaMarcus Aldridge, for the second time in four nights, relying on a blend of half-court precision and zippy transition offense. While the Trail Blazers filled out the stat sheet nicely, the Jazz were never really in danger of relinquishing the lead after a third quarter in which they went up by 13 thanks to Mo Williams’ sixth 3-pointer of the game.
Two nights after Randy Foye tied a team record with eight 3-pointers, Williams was 6-of-7 from the perimeter and finished with 20 points, 9 assists and just one turnover.
“It’s always good to play well,” Williams said. “You always sleep better, especially when you win. That’s the most important thing. Right now, it’s coming at a great time. We need to win more than ever.”« Previous Page