There were several indicators at EnergySolutions Arena that showed how Saturday night was a good one for the Utah Jazz. You know it’s a good night when Gordon Hayward can laugh off a late-game error. You know it’s a good night when confetti falls from the rafters despite a 13-point deficit. You also know it’s a good night when Derrick Favors gets a double-double with a sore hip, when Enes Kanter has a monster scoring game off the bench, and when a fan’s half-court attempt during a timeout promotion comes closer than Washington guard John Wall’s last-second game-tying attempt from 33 feet away. Final score on this good night for the home team: Jazz 104, Wizards 101. “I thought it was a good win,” Hayward said. “Obviously not the way we wanted to close out a game, but good to get the win.” After consecutive blowout losses to the Timberwolves followed by three days off, the Jazz will take any positive outcome they can get. Now, about that closing-out part Hayward referred to after his team improved to 15-29. Long after it fell behind by 13 points in the second quarter, Utah seemed to have things under control when rookie point guard Trey Burke calmly snapped the net from 3-point land with 1:23 remaining. Burke, who finished with 12 points and eight assists in his first matchup with Wall, gave the Jazz a fairly comfortable six-point lead with his fourth 3-pointer of the night. But that just set up a wild finish. Wizards forward Trevor Ariza cut Utah’s lead in half with his own trey with 52 seconds to go. Of course he did. Ariza scored 23 points, including a brilliant 6-of-10 showing from 3-point range. The Jazz had one heck of a time trying to send Washington out of Utah with a loss in the final minute. Burke missed a short runner on the Jazz’s next possession, Hayward turned the ball over with a pass that was closer to Favors’ feet than his hands with 21.5 seconds to go, and Alec Burks split a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining.
Slump ends as Jazz hold on for wild win over Wizards
The Deseret News | Jan 26