SALT LAKE CITY – Randy Foye's shots kept getting deeper. He made one from 24 feet out in the third quarter. He made another from 25 feet out. And a third. And a fourth.
Then he backed up.
In the early fourth quarter he landed one from 28 feet.
On this night he could have made them from Snowbird.
Yes, Foye was on the mark in Saturday's 116-107 Jazz win over Brooklyn. He totaled eight of nine from beyond the arc, tying a franchise record for 3-pointers in a game. His seven 3s in the second half broke the team record, set by a certain farsighted current assistant coach.
But the craziest shot wasn't even Foye's. Instead, it was Marvin Williams' shot-clock-defyin', ain't-no-lyin', leave-'em-cryin,' bank-shot 3-pointer with 7:25 left in the game. It was over. Forgetaboudit. The attitude was gone from Brooklyn.
When the Jazz are bringing it from both inside and outside, the playoffs are once again possible.
"It's a tremendous mix, because of the way we score, it frees up guys and gives then an opportunity to go one-on-one in the post, because (opponents) are afraid to leave the shooters," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We talked about it over the summer and they bought in."
Sure they bought it, but who knew they'd empty the bank?
As ex-Jazz guard Deron Williams described it, "Foye went nuts."
The win kept the Jazz in the eighth and final playoff spot and marked their second consecutive win. Friday they beat Portland on the road, their first road win in weeks. That was followed by Saturday's win over the playoff-bound Nets.
All they need now is to do what mother always says: Insist on a balanced diet.
If inside points are the meat and potatoes, outside points are the veggies.
The way the Jazz played on Saturday, they pretty much hit all the food groups, running the pick-and-roll effectively, distributing their scoring, swarming on defense and, most of all, shooting 56 percent, including 10 of 17 overall from 3-point range.
If the Jazz intended to quit after their Friday win over Portland, they didn't show it in the first half. Their annoying, collapsing defense kept the Nets from going ahead by more than six. Fueled by the return of ex-Jazz forward Kris Humphries – OK, Deron Williams – the crowd was into the game far more than recent outings.
The Jazz showed a sign of things to come by making 11 of their first 13 shots. That would have been just chirpy, had it not been for the fact Brooklyn made nine of its first 12. Yet the early favorite play was on defense, when Deron Williams' fast break layup was interrupted by Gordon Hayward, who erased the shot. That was only a warmup to the rumble that rose when Foye heated up in the second half.
"That makes it hugely effective, because now teams can't go down on our post-up guys as frequently as teams try to do, because they have to worry about where (Foye) is," Corbin said.
The Jazz's euphoria could end as quickly as it arose. They've done this before. At one point this year they won six of seven and eight of ten. Yet before Friday, they had lost 12 of 15. The Los Angeles Lakers are hot on their heels, following a win over Sacramento.
Utah still has games against Portland, Denver, Golden State, Oklahoma City and Memphis – all potential losses. But only Golden State and Memphis are on the road.
Winning at home has traditionally been a Jazz assumption. But what was once an almost mythical home court advantage has slipped in recent years, though this year they're a respectable 27-9. Last year they were 25-8 in the lockout-shortened season, but the year before just 21-20.
In 2004-2006 they were 18-23 and 22-19, respectively, at home.
Not exactly an impregnable castle.
In their best years they only lost three home games in a season.
So while home isn't the fortress it once was, it isn't the favorite place for visiting teams, either. Teams would rather play in, oh, Charlotte, where no one is paying attention, or New Orleans, where the Hornets just can't create a buzz.
In any case, the Jazz deserve credit for their recent work. They trailed by as many as 14 points on Friday, yet went on a 19-2 run to take the game away from the Blazers. On Saturday they beat a nice 42-31 Brooklyn team. The playoffs are still in reach.
Which brings up a point: Who wants that last playoff spot, anyway?
Apparently the Jazz. They came at the Nets from a variety of directions.
As it stood on Saturday, their motto might have been: So many options, so few games.
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