Utah Jazz improve to 4-0 at home with 94-85 win over Memphis Grizzlies
The outcome of that contest will determine how long the Jazz stay above .500, somewhere they haven't been in the standings since March 21, 2011, when Utah fell to 36-35 after losing, coincidentally, at Memphis. That defeat was part of the late-season freefall and eight-game losing streak, which came after the surprising departures of Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan (resignation) and All-Star point guard Deron Williams (trade).
Because the Jazz finished that tumultuous season 39-43 and without a playoff spot and with a roster full of youngsters and experienced guys trying to find their place in the league, not many people expected Utah to post a winning record this soon.
That's what team efforts will get you — surprisingly pleasant results.
"It was an amazing game," said Howard, who had 13 points. "Guys came out and competed very, very hard, especially in the third quarter."
The Jazz made a strong charge at the end of the third to seize the momentum for good. Watson, who finished with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds, fed Jefferson for a layup, and it didn't take Utah long to turn a seven-point deficit into a 67-64 advantage by the end of the period.
Rookie Alec Burks had some free throws, Howard added a bucket, Watson fed Derrick Favors with a terrific alley-oop pass for a dunk, and Enes Kanter softly put a fade shot in after getting an offensive rebound to end the quarter.
"We feel confident," Burks added. "When you win, you feel more confident. You go to your next one and try to win that one."
Even if it's away from home.
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