SALT LAKE CITY — Early in the season, the Utah Jazz were unbeatable on their home court and couldn't seem to buy a win on the road.
Now, it seems, the tables are turning.
Utah went 2-2 on its recent road trip back east, with narrow wins over the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic and double-digit losses to the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.
"It could have been a lot worse," said Utah center Al Jefferson. "Two-2, .500 — 3-1 would have been a good road trip, 4-0 would have been a great road trip — but I can settle for 2-2."
"You always want to go 4-0," agreed point guard Jamaal Tinsley, "but any time you get 2-2, you'll take it."
However, with Wednesday night's 94-83 loss to Golden State at EnergySolutions Arena, the Jazz have now lost back-to-back games at home. After starting the season with six straight home-court wins, Utah slipped to 9-3 at ESA this season with the somewhat surprising double-digit setback against the Warriors.
"It was a sluggish effort all night," admitted Utah coach Tyrone Corbin.
"It was tough. We didn't play our best," said Jazz big man Derrick Favors. "We just need to come to practice tomorrow and get better."
Getting better, though, is something the Jazz have accomplished away from home in recent weeks.
Since starting the season by losing six of their first seven road games, the Jazz have gone 5-6 since then. They were once 3-9 on the road, but are now 6-12 after splitting their last six games.
"I think the road trip was OK for us," third-year shooting guard Gordon Hayward said of their recent Eastern swing. "The fact that we won in Orlando was huge; it made it so we went .500.
"I think we knew going in it was going to be a difficult road trip with the quality of teams that we were going to play. So the fact that we came out .500 was pretty good. There's still a lot of work to do, though."
"I think we're getting there, yeah," Hayward said of their improving performance away from the friendly (for the Jazz, at least) confines of EnergySolutions Arena. "I think we're building on that. I think we still have a ways to go, but we're definitely a much better team than what we were to start the season on the road."
NO SIGN OF BOGUT: The Warriors have been without 7-foot center Andrew Bogut, the former University of Utah All-American, since early in the season.Comment on this story
After playing in Golden State's first four games this season, Bogut — acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks last March — has missed the Warriors' last 25 games while trying to rehabilitate his surgically repaired but still ailing left ankle.
Bogut, who has averaged 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.57 blocked shots per game over his seven-year NBA career, had surgery on the ankle and did not play in a single game for Golden State last season after the Warriors made the trade to get him in a five-player deal March 13.