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News » Jazz remember loss to Thunder


Jazz remember loss to Thunder


Jazz remember loss to Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY ? Every NBA team finishes with games they wish they could erase ? losses, in other words, that will go down as really bad ones. Reasons for the particular pain behind the defeat vary greatly, from buzzer beaters to flat-out beatings, and virtually everything in between.

For the Jazz, there that first of the season ? an unnecessary one in November at New York. There were other teams they simply should not lost to, not even on the road, like the consecutive defeats at Washington and Charlotte that they suffered later on that same five-game trip. There was Larry Hughes' shot that beat the clock for Chicago later in November, and a painful double-overtime loss in late December at Houston that came only after Deron Williams drove for a layup to tie the game late in regulation. There was humiliation, or games they never really were in, at Denver in January and Golden State in February and Orlando just last Sunday. Until they blew a seven-point lead in the final 56 seconds of the fourth quarter and eventually fell in triple-overtime at Miami last Saturday, though, perhaps no loss the Jazz endured this season was worse than the one that came when Utah last visited here back on Jan. 14. Oklahoma City, last in the league at the time, won 114-93 to snap a four-game Jazz win streak, and afterward shooting guard Kyle Korver said, "We stunk. That's all there is to it." Fast forward to this week, and even after crumbling against the Heat the loss to the Thunder still sticks with the 42-26 Jazz. "That was a bad one," Williams said. "Looking back at how bad they beat us, we definitely remember that." Oklahoma City still is only 19-49 this season, and ? while Sacramento, the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis now are worse in the Western Conference alone ? they remain dead last in the Northwest Division. But young Thunder standouts Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook combined to score 66 points that January night, and they remain chief among why Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is so high on the former Seattle Sonics club. "Those guys can play," said Sloan, whose Jazz tonight will play their only game in a six-night span. "I like their team a lot," he added. "For a young team, they've really come a long way in a short period of time." Besides the one over the Jazz, Oklahoma City's 19 victories also include more recent ones over three other Western Conference playoff-quality opponents ? in early February against Portland, earlier this month vs. Dallas and on Tuesday against San Antonio. All came at home. "We'll mention to them, obviously, that they're a good team down there," Sloan said with reference to both his own players, who have practiced twice since a shoddy win over Washington on Tuesday, and the Thunder. "They came in there (in January against the Jazz) and played extremely well," he added, "and they're playing well (now)." Sloan can only hope, even though Oklahoma City actually has lost three of its last four overall, that his club keeps that in mind tonight. Unless, that, is, they want to add to the list ? one or more from which could haunt Utah when it comes to postseason seeding. "I think, sometimes, we get in our head that we're not supposed to lose to a team like that," the Jazz coach said. "But you've got to give them credit. They've got players, they want to win too." Anyway they can get 'em, which after a three-game losing streak including the debacles in Miami and Orlando is the Jazz's bottom-line attitude as well. "We just need to win, no matter what," Williams said. "You know, a win is a win ? whether it's by one point or 20, whether it's sloppy or great." And a loss, either way, stings ? though some much more than others. Particularly painful Jazz losses 1. at Miami . . . Saturday . . . 140-129 . . . In triple-overtime 2. at Oka. City . . . Jan. 14 . . . 114-93 . . . Blown out by lottery team 3. vs. Chicago . . . Nov. 24 . . . 101-100 . . . At the buzzer 4. at New York . . . Nov. 9 . . . 107-99 . . . First of season 5. at Denver . . . Jan. 25. . . . 117-97 . . . Crushed by division foe 6. at Washington . . . Nov. 12 . . . 95-87 . . . Even without Gilbert Arenas 7. at Golden St. . . . Feb. 8 . . . 116-96 . . . Dominated by inferior opponent 8. at Charlotte . . . Nov. 14 . . . 104-96 . . . Late-game confusion costly 9. at Houston . . . Dec. 27 . . . 120-115 . . . In double-overtime 10. at Orlando . . . Sunday . . . 105-97 . . . Never really in it E-Mail: tbuckley@desnews.com


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 21, 2009

 

 
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