MIAMI — The run is done, and now — a 12-game win streak, the fourth-longest in franchise history, having ended with Wednesday's loss at Atlanta — Jazz coach Jerry Sloan worries about what awaits.
Especially with two more games against solid Southeast Division teams coming Saturday in Miami and Sunday night at Orlando.
"I just told them, 'Lots of times, you see a team after they've had a streak, they have one the other way,' " Sloan said moments after emerging from the Jazz locker room at Atlanta's Philips Arena.
The Jazz coach desperately wants to avoid the trap of tailspin, and his message was delivered loud and clear.
"We don't want to think about that. That's something we definitely don't want to happen," point guard Deron Williams said. "We're in a good spot right now. We've worked hard to get the 12 straight wins — (and) we can't let just one (loss) set us back and bring us back to where we were before."
"It was a good run, but it came to an end," shooting guard Ronnie Brewer added. "It's a new day. We've got to erase this, get over it and get ready for the next game."
That would be the one against a Heat team featuring Dwyane Wade and his 29.7 points-per-game scoring average, which heading into Thursday's games led the NBA.
"We'll see what kind of character we've got," Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer said. "I think if we're an elite team, we'll bounce right back. We won't just look at this thing and sulk and lose four or five in a row. We've got to bounce back from it."
"Obviously we're getting a lot more attention now," Boozer added, "so, for us as a team, we've got to continue to grow and be able to adjust to what people are doing to us."
Opponents are gunning for the Jazz, who — after losses as well Wednesday by Houston, Denver and Portland — remain fourth in the NBA's Western Conference but are still first in the Northwest Division.
"We're not gonna get complacent," power forward Paul Millsap said.
"We feel like we should be higher, and we feel like we're a lot better than the guys that are head of us right now," Millsap added. "It's gonna take time for us to get back up there, but we're gonna do it."
They may, but only if they can put behind what happened Wednesday.
"We can't let just one game deflate us," Williams said.
"It doesn't matter," center Mehmet Okur added with reference to the loss. "(There are) too many games ahead of us right now, and we have to focus on the rest of the season."
KIRILENKO'S MINUTES: When the season started, the plan was to bring versatile Andrei Kirilenko off the bench but perhaps play him what amounts to starter minutes.
But it hasn't exactly gone that way in the 12 games Kirilenko has played since returning from January ankle surgery.
Before surgery, partly because various teammates were injured, Kirilenko played 30 minutes or more in 22 of 38 games — including one regulation-length game with 42, and 50 in a double-overtime loss at Houston.
Since then, he hasn't played more than 26 minutes.
He's often used almost exclusively now in the second and fourth quarters, and isn't subbing in for center Mehmet Okur like at times previously.
Sloan said the forward from Russia no longer is on restricted minutes, and the coach believes he's fully healthy.
It's just that the rest of the Jazz roster is healthy and available too, and the crowd — including Boozer, back from arthroscopic knee surgery — has cut into Kirilenko's playing time.
"Ronnie's played pretty well," Sloan said with reference to Brewer, whose place on the perimeter Kirilenko also has filled at times.43 comments on this story
Moreover, Sloan added, "we're kind of loaded at (power forward) with Boozer and Paul (Millsap) and Andrei and Matt (Harpring) if I use (Harpring) some there."
MISC.: After losing to the Hawks, the Jazz are 3-12 in the second game of back-to-back sets. ... Though its winning streak is done, Utah still is 15-2 in its last 17 games — all in February and March. ... With two days off before playing again, the Jazz flew from Atlanta to Miami on Thursday. They didn't practice Thursday, but will today.