Utah Jazz notebook: Utah Jazz return to site of that looong 4OT loss
Ravell Call, Deseret News
ATLANTA — Joe Johnson had to "laugh it off" and was relieved when Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap fouled out 60-some-odd basketball minutes into it.
Gordon Hayward was exhausted but said he could've gone another 10 rounds.
Last season's four-overtime slugfest between the Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks was so epic, Millsap even dared call it a moral victory after his team came out on the short end of the 139-133 showdown.
"It was a long game," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin recalled at practice Thursday. "It was exciting."
The four-OT thriller was tied for the third-longest game in NBA history and was the first game that had lasted that long since 1997. It was also quite ugly as the teams combined to miss 136 shots during a game in which the Jazz only shot 38.9 percent.
"We want to come out on the other end of it this year," Corbin said.
Bonus if they can come out of it standing up, too.
Though the loss snapped Utah's six-game winning streak on March 25, 2012, and sent Utah into a small tailspin with losses in three of four ensuing games, Corbin considered it to be a unifying moment. The 2011-12 team eventually rallied at the end of the season to make the playoffs — once they got their legs back underneath them.
"Although we lost the game in four overtimes, I thought that game brought us closer together as a team," Corbin said. "We learned how if we stay together and continue to grind and continue to grind and continue to grind, (we) give ourselves a chance."
The Jazz outlasted Toronto 140-133 in triple overtime on Nov. 12 of this season, but Corbin said his team hasn't quite had a galvanizing game quite yet.
"I think we're still looking for (and) waiting on the big one," he said. "This group has grown together, but there's always a point of remembrance, a situation, where you (realize), 'This is where we really got it.' I don’t think we've had that experience just yet, but we have some great experiences together."
FAMILIAR FOES: Corbin will be happy to reunite with former fan favorite Kyle Korver and ex-Jazz point guard Devin Harris when Utah faces the Hawks tonight at Philips Arena.
"They both create different problems for us," Corbin said. "Kyle's a dynamic shooter. Devin is a speedy guy."
Korver was traded to Atlanta from Chicago this past offseason. The shooting guard, who played in Utah for 2-1/2 seasons through 2010, is averaging 10.8 points and is hitting 44.1 percent of his 3-point shots with the Hawks.
Harris, part of the D-Will deal of 2011, just returned Wednesday from an 11-game absence due to a sore right foot. He is averaging 7.8 points and 2.3 assists in Atlanta.
"I enjoyed working with both of them," Corbin added. "But we have to try to stop them tomorrow night."
CALL IT EVEN?: The Jazz were shocked Saturday in Denver when Gordon Hayward was called for offensive interference for holding the rim after a dunk a bit longer than usual to avoid landing awkwardly on Kenneth Faried.
Perhaps, then, a bit of turnaround was fair play Wednesday in Charlotte.
Hayward closed in on Ramon Sessions and blocked his shot from behind in Utah's 112-102 win. The Bobcat faithful went bonkers when referees didn't call it goaltending.
Honest Abe would've been proud of Hayward, who was also surprised. Not only had the ball already hit the backboard, but it was clearly above the cylinder as well.
"I think I got away with one tonight," he said, adding that he definitely touched the basketball. "It was going in anyway, so I tried to go make a play. The ref didn't see it, I guess."
NOTES: Derrick Favors' foul on/tackle of Dirk Nowitzki in Monday's win over Dallas was upgraded to a flagrant-1 foul by the NBA. Players are given one point for flagrant-1 fouls and two points for flagrant-2 fouls (along with in-game penalties). A total of five points during the season results in an automatic suspension.
The Jazz practiced at UNC Charlotte on Thursday before traveling to Atlanta.
Corbin on the team being above .500 at 19-18: "You want to keep it going. You want to get a little gap in your wins and losses. Right now we're one up. We want to get two up to get to three up to get to four up and get a run going."
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