Anyone wondering how the Jazz might respond to a tense finish with former teammate Al Jefferson opposing them Monday night could only watch appreciatively as they blew a 14-point lead against Charlotte. The answers came in the last minute, when the Jazz trailed by one point. Gordon Hayward bounced a pass to Derrick Favors for a dunk, then Jefferson missed a short hook shot and Jazz rookie Trey Burke drove for a layup, basically securing an 83-80 victory at EnergySolutions Arena. So the Jazz have five home-court victories this season, and critical misses by ex-Jazz stars Carlos Boozer of Chicago and Jefferson helped make two of them happen. "In my opinion, we should have won," Jefferson said, blaming himself. The Bobcats relied heavily on Jefferson, like the Jazz of old, while the home team’s only choice was to create other game-winning possibilities in his absence. "It is a little bit of a discovery," Hayward said. "Like I said, it’s a growing year for us, so these experiences are really valuable." Of course, some would prefer those lessons to come in losses, worrying that the Jazz (10-24) are playing their way out of prime draft territory. But here’s the thing: If the Jazz beat Milwaukee — owner of the NBA’s worst record — on Thursday, they’ll be 10-11 since Burke became the starting point guard.
Jazz show Big Al how it’s done, in the end
Salt Lake Tribune | Dec 31