Saturday, April 19, 2014

Utah Jazz: Jazz continue slide with overtime loss to Kings

By Jody Genessy, Deseret News

Published: Sat, Dec. 7 9:55 p.m. MST

 Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) is defended by Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) during NBA action in Salt Lake City Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. The Kings won 112-102.

Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter (0) is defended by Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) during NBA action in Salt Lake City Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. The Kings won 112-102.

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Kinda fitting that a snowstorm pelted the Wasatch Front during the Utah Jazz’s game Saturday night.

This team has been like the vehicles that try to brave the weather with bald tires.

Sometimes the Jazzwagon goes forward.

But then it slipssssss.

And sliiiiiiiides.

For the first month and a half of the season, this rebuilding Jazz team has struggled to gain traction and has often found itself spinning out of control.

Eight losses. One win. Six setbacks. Another W. Loss. Two wins in a row!

And, after Saturday's 112-102 overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Jazz find themselves on another three-game losing skid.

Anyone have some chains or new tires they can borrow?

“The season’s not going to stop and wait on us,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said before Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings. “We’ve got to try to make the best of where we are right now.”

That, by the way, is not a very good spot.

Losing to the Kings a day after falling in Portland by 32 points is all the proof you need of that.

The Jazz had their chances, but rookie point guard Trey Burke missed a game-winning floater at the buzzer in regulation just three seconds after fellow rookie Ben McLemore tied the game with a wide-open 3-pointer.

The Kings then dominated the overtime session as both Jeremy Evans and Enes Kanter, starting because of injuries, fouled out and the Jazz ran out of gas.

Gordon Hayward had 22 points, Burke and Alec Burks each had 19 points, but the Jazz blew an early 10-point lead while dropping to 4-18.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 28 points and guard Isaiah Thomas scored 26 off the bench. Sacramento won this battle of four-win teams, improving to 5-13 while snapping a six-game losing streak.

More spinning, sliding and skidding for the Jazz.

Not only have they tried to regroup after losing most of their firepower from last season, but the Jazz have yet to get consistent performances from their young developing players and have been plagued by injury issues.

Utah, which began the season with just 10 healthy players for a couple of weeks, is again suffering injury problems.

For Saturday’s game — what should have been a winnable contest against the woeful Kings — the Jazz were without starters Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams.

The 6-foot-10 Favors, averaging 13.4 points and 9.5 rebounds, was a late scratch because of lower back soreness. The power forward suffered back issues this summer while participating in a Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas, but he’d been one of only four Jazz players to see action in every game this season before sitting this one out.

Utah was also without Williams again as he continues to rest his inflamed right heel, which has now kept him out of three games.

“It’s tough. It makes it a little tougher. We’re young, short-handed,” Jazz Corbin said. “You get a few guys back and you find a little rhythm there for a short while and you have injuries again. It’s just a little frustrating.

“But it’s a part of what it is,” he added. “We just have to keep plugging at it.”

The coach on the other end of the sideline Saturday empathizes with Corbin, and not just because both squads entered this game with four wins.

“Tyrone Corbin’s a friend, and I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and as a person,” Kings coach Mike Malone said. “When you have your No. 1 pick out to start the season, that’s never easy. You look at how they’ve played since Trey Burke was inserted into the lineup.” Williams’ injury came at a time when the Jazz had found a rare winning groove, which coincided with Burke’s insertion into the starting lineup.

“We thought we were finding a little rhythm there with Marvin at (power forward),” Corbin said. “He goes down and you have to go back a little bit and try and figure some things out.”

The Jazz find themselves in a situation where they have to do what Malone’s been doing with the Kings during their recent losing stretch.

“You look for the silver lining in everything you do,” Malone said. “Some days you see a lot of it (good) and other days you have to find whatever you can.”

On this night, the Kings didn't need a silver lining like the Jazz do.

"Somebody said, 'Oh, you’ve got two four-win teams going for their fifth win tonight,'" Malone said in his pregame interview. "For me it’s an opportunity for us to get better. We're not caught up in them being 4-and-whatever-they-are. This is an opportunity for us as the Sacramento Kings to come in here and try to get a win."

Meanwhile, the Jazz are still searching for some tires that aren't bald.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com

TWITTER: DJJazzyJody

Sacramento Kings vs Utah Jazz | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | December 7, 2013

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1. Americanvet
Ivins, UT,
Dec. 8, 2013

The negative nellies will be out in full force after losing to the Kings at home. Being upset, depressed, or embarrassed about the Jazz as I have read on these comment boards is not constructive or of value to anyone. Listen, right now we are one of the worst teams in the NBA so you might as well get used to the idea we will lose a bunch of games. Portland has been a bad team the last few years but with some good drafts and free agent signings look at them now. Instead of being negative why not just relax and give the Jazz brass a year or two to pull us out of this down cycle. It's going to take some time but some of you are expecting too much to soon and not being realistic. There are some positives for this team but you won't see them if you are enveloped in so much negativity. Peace,out.

2. no comment
New Orleans, LA,
Dec. 8, 2013

Thank goodness we have Ty coaching. Otherwise, we may have lost our pole position in the Wiggins/Parker derby.

Up by 3 with a few seconds left, the obvious move was to foul so that Sacto had no way of taking a 3 point shot. The Kings announcers were shocked and relieved that it didn't occur to the Jazz to do so.

If we had, we would have won and the Kings would have moved into first place.

Thanks Ty.

3. Grandmajazz
LAVA HOT SPRINGS, ID,
Dec. 8, 2013

I guess you did say you would write a good article, not neccesarily a flattering one. (Just kidding). Enjoyed your appearance at the Jazz game. I ache for the Jazz players and coach. I don't ache for players when they aren't giving their all but for all the problems like injuries etc. for which they have no controll. We could all play the "what if " game but it won't change anything. What we can do is throw all our effort and loyalty into supporting the team and help them work through this year and mature and get better next year. I see so many empty seats and almost cry. I would give most anything to be there to support rather than in Idaho behind a TV!

4. What in Tucket?
Provo, UT,
Dec. 8, 2013

Where was Jimmer?

5. scalman
Temecula, CA,
Dec. 8, 2013

Tough game to lose, especially with the Jazz up by 5 with less than two minutes to play, and then Burke missing a game winner with 15 seconds left. Still, without Favors, the Jazz played O.K. Hopefully, Favors is back Monday. I'd like to see Coach Corbin give Gobert more minutes. Go Jazz!