ATLANTA — The Utah Jazz played a basketball game Sunday night at Philips Arena.
Then they played some more.
And after that, they kept on playing and playing and playing.
For the first time in franchise history, the Jazz slugged it out — slogged it out, more like — for four quarters in regulation and for an additional four, five-minute extra sessions.
The organization, no doubt, hopes to never see another quadruple-overtime game — and not just because of the fatiguing factor.
The Jazz blew a slew of opportunities to win this road-trip opener before finally falling — almost literally, it appeared — to the Hawks by the score of 139-133.
"It was tiring, but these kind of things you've got to enjoy if you love competing," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "It's a great game to be a part of.. It would have been a greater game to win it."
The game lasted so long, Enes Kanter was 19 years old at tipoff yet his grandchildren helped him apply for social security by the time the final buzzer ended decades later.
This game actually lasted longer than 26-23 Utah's entire six-game winning streak, which the 30-20 Hawks snapped.
Or maybe it just seemed that long because of how sloppy this one was. The teams missed 136 shots between them and only scored a combined four points in the first overtime. The Jazz shot 38.9 percent overall and 28.6 percent from the 3-point range.
As for the time, in actuality this game — the NBA's longest since a four-OT contest between Phoenix and Portland in 1997 — lasted for 68 minutes of hoops time and three hours and 17 minutes in real time.
That's not much more time than the Jazz have before playing again tonight in New Jersey.
Speaking of time, Jazz starters battled it out for about twice the time they usually play. Gordon Hayward led the team in P.T. (57 minutes, 28 seconds), and C.J. Miles had the fewest of the starters with 49:33.
Al Jefferson (28 points), Paul Millsap (25 points) and Devin Harris (11 points, 10 assists) each saw 50-plus minutes on the court.
"I played 57 minutes, and man, that's a lot of basketball. I could've played 10 more overtimes if I had to," Hayward said. "You're just out there competing, and that's all there is to it. Tomorrow morning will probably be tough, but we're professionals, so you have to just keep playing hard no matter how long it takes."
That's the attitude the Jazz are trying to take from the South to Deron Williams' place in Jersey.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't fatigued out there a little bit," Millsap said. "But you've got to fight through that, try to figure a way to win the game. The monkey got on our back a little bit, obviously more than them, and we just couldn't finish out like we wanted to."
But, Millsap added, "We fought. We're going to take a moral victory out of this one. This is a good ball team we played tonight. They play excellent defense. We just didn't get it done. We've got to tomorrow to make it up."
The end of the final five periods — including regulation and the four OT sessions — were maddening for the Jazz because of missed opportunities.
Millsap had a chance to win the game in regulation, but his short shot rimmed off. The Jazz then thought Millsap was fouled on a missed dunk attempt late in the first overtime.
Harris' desperation game-winning attempt was off in the second overtime, and that came 15 seconds after he'd given the Jazz a short-lived three-point lead that Joe Johnson erased with a trey.
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