SALT LAKE CITY — Call it a crash. Call it a collision. Call it a total train wreck.
Whatever you might call the thing that happened between C.J. Miles and Thunder star Kevin Durant in the fourth quarter of the Jazz's 115-108 loss to Oklahoma City on Monday night, it's likely the Jazz swingman will know what you're referencing.
"I'm assuming you're talking about the foul," said Miles, who had the call go against him when the two met high in 3-point land.
"I was chasing him. I thought I'd done a good job of not letting him catch it in his comfort zone, and I wanted to make him catch it as far out on the floor (as possible). If he was gonna have to run to halfcourt, I was gonna make him catch it out there.
"I denied him off the screen," Miles added. "I didn't think I was holding him. I had my body on him, of course. (But) my hands were down. And I guess (Durant) turned and tried to get open, and we collided. And he (referee Steve Javie) said I was holding him."
Miles, who one Utah possession earlier had hit a short runner to pull the Jazz to within two at 97-95, fouled Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook on a legitimate reach-in call 13 seconds later.
Westbrook hit one of his two freebies to put the Thunder up three with six minutes and 39 seconds left, and it was essentially downhill from there for the Jazz.
Many in a sold-out EnergySolutions Arena crowd of 19,911 were less than pleased with the collision call, and made their displeasure known for sometime afterward.
Yet Miles, who had the wind briefly knocked out of him on the play with Durant, didn't see the foul as a game-changer.
"It was a big play," he said, "but we still made some plays. We were still in the game."
The Jazz's sixth man did concede, though, that it "definitely would have helped" had the call gone the other way.
As it happened, it did not.
And the Jazz, denied a breath of hope, never did get to within closer than two the rest of the way.
For that, they can point to an offense that broke down frequently in Monday's late going. Seven of the Jazz's last 10 possessions came up dry.
"Spacing wasn't good," Miles said.
"I think guys panicked a little too early in the play to try to cut and try to find spaces, so when (point) Deron (Williams) was penetrating you've got so many guys cutting — which is the right thing to do, (but) it was just that we kind of clogged each other up and we didn't give him too many gaps to find guys."
"We weren't on the same page at some points," he added, "but it happens."
Miles, who finished with a bench-high 16 points that included 7-for-14 field shooting, did his part offensively.
With no other Jazz subs scoring more than four, he provided what's been asked of him.
"I don't look at it as a burden," Miles, who did also look to get others involved Monday, said when asked if it was.
"I'm gonna keep being aggressive, and I'm gonna keep trying to (score)," he added. "That's the reason I'm there, so I can't be mad about the position I've been put in."
Nor, as was the case, could he be too upset with the call that wasn't in his favor. "He (Javie) blew the whistle," Miles said. "He makes the rules."
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