Utah Jazz: Jazz pick up rare win in overtime by outlasting Bulls
Matt Gade, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — On Monday night, the Utah Jazz gave older generations something to tell their grandkids about.
They gave younger generations, some who might’ve worried that they might not see another Jazz win until they actually have grandkids, something to cheer about.
And they gave themselves something to celebrate about.
Yep, the Jazz won a game.
For just the second time in 16 games this season, the Jazz picked up a victory by outlasting the Chicago Bulls 89-83 in overtime at EnergySolutions Arena.
Happy Thanksgiving, Utah.
“It was a good win for us,” Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke said.
It was a much-needed win for about everybody in Jazzland — from the upset fans calling for coach Tyrone Corbin’s job to members of a team that’s bumbled through a frustrating first month and a 2-14 start.
“It feels good,” Jazz center Derrick Favors said. “We came out, played hard, played together as a team. It feels good to finally get one.”
Favors might’ve liked it even a tad more had he not fouled out with two minutes remaining in regulation.
But the Jazz did just enough down the stretch to force overtime without Favors — and minus injured Enes Kanter (sprained ankle) — after allowing the Bulls to overcome a 12-point Utah lead by going scoreless for six-plus minutes in the fourth quarter.
After nearly botching it in the final 12 minutes, the Jazz dominated the five-minute overtime session.
Though he had some rough spots throughout the night, Burke gave the Jazz a couple of big plays in OT to help snap two six-game losing streaks. Utah had lost six straight overall since defeating New Orleans 111-105 two weeks ago, and the Jazz had dropped six in a row to the Bulls.
Burke, who shot 5 for 17, hit a key 3-pointer to put Utah up by five two minutes into OT during a stretch in which the Jazz went on a 7-0 run to grab momentum in the extra session.
With Utah up five, the rookie point guard then assisted Richard Jefferson on a game-clinching slam dunk with 14 seconds left, opting to unselfishly pass the ball to the veteran for the bucket instead of scoring an easy one for himself.
“I think we all played together. The chemistry was there,” Burke said. “We were all focused on both ends of the court, and we executed when we needed to execute most down the line.”
Jazz fan nemesis Carlos Boozer nearly ended the game when he grabbed an offensive rebound in the final seconds of regulation, but his potential winning shot rattled out.
Boozer finished with game-highs of 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Bulls, who dropped to 6-7 after their fourth straight defeat.
Luol Deng scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as Chicago rallied after trailing by 10 with 11 minutes remaining.
The Bulls were playing without former MVP point guard Derrick Rose, who underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee earlier in the day in the Windy City.
The Jazz again struggled offensively, shooting just 38.8 percent in the win.
But all five Utah starters scored in double figures, with power forward Marvin Williams leading the way with 17 points. Gordon Hayward and Jefferson each scored 15, Burke contributed 14 and Favors added 10.
“I thought the effort on all the guys’ part, especially the veteran guys (was good),” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “Richard and Marvin, I thought, did a tremendous job of just keeping everybody going and focused on what we needed to do to close the game out (and) the determination that they all showed to win the ballgame. I thought it was great on all fronts.”
The Jazz, who’ve had one of the toughest schedules in the NBA, will get Tuesday off before practicing again Wednesday and Thursday. Utah doesn’t play again until former Jazz player and assistant Jeff Hornacek returns for the first time as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
That gives all of Utah plenty of time to soak up a rare win in this rough rebuilding season, which has been marred by injuries, losses and woeful offense.
All is well for now, though.
“It was a good win,” Williams said. “That’s a good team over there, a really good team, Derrick Rose or not.”
NOTES: Hayward finished with a career-high 12 assists and hit two clutch free throws with 10.3 seconds remaining in overtime after missing a potential game-winner with eight seconds left in regulation. ... This was Utah's first overtime of the season. ... Utah held Chicago to a season low in scoring.
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