I want them to play well because I think they have a good young team. They have a great young core. I'm a big Hayward fan. I've always been a fan. It's amazing to see him get his opportunity to grow. The young guys that I know that are there are amazing people. —Earl Watson, former Jazz guard
SALT LAKE CITY — One of the many things Trey Burke has learned in his short time in the NBA is that the next game comes awfully quick.
Right now, he believes that’s a good thing for him and the slumping Utah Jazz.
Burke was already looking ahead to Monday night’s game just moments after he missed a game-winning attempt at the end of regulation Saturday in a contest the Kings won in overtime.
“It hurts really bad,” Burke said of the 112-102 home loss to Sacramento.
That was the common theme in the aftermath of Utah’s third loss in a row.
"Tough loss," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said.
"We wanted that game really bad," Jazz center Enes Kanter said.
"It does (hurt)," Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward said. "We had the game."
The Jazz led early by 10 points, fell behind by nine, surged ahead by seven late in the fourth quarter with a 16-0 run but then wilted down the stretch and folded in overtime.
“The beauty of this thing,” Burke added, “is we have another game Monday.”
It might be even more appealing if the Jazz’s opponent was the five-win Kings, which, by the way, will happen Wednesday when Utah travels to SacTown for a rematch. By the way, don't expect the Jazz to allow rookie Ben McLemore to get a wide-open 3-pointer at the end of the game that night like he did Saturday if that scenario happens again.
"Must have been a communication error there on our last play. ... It shouldn't come down to that last play, but ultimately it did," Hayward said. "We had a defensive breakdown and left a man wide open for a 3, which was the only thing that could have hurt us. It was a tough shot, but they beat us in the overtime too and that's all there was to it."
At least they don't have to wait long to try to avenge their last two losses.
This next game on the schedule happens to be against Portland, which steamrolled the Jazz in Rip City on Friday night, leading by as many as 42 points before settling for a 130-98 victory.
If there’s anything positive to take away from Saturday’s setback, it was that the Jazz (4-18) were at least competitive while losing to a bad 5-13 Kings squad without starting big men Derrick Favors (back) and Marvin Williams (heel).
“I felt the guys came back after (Friday) night and fought pretty hard," Corbin said.
Outside of a small second-quarter rally, the Jazz didn’t even act interested in being on the Moda Center court Friday night.
Part of the problem in Oregon was that the upstart Blazers (17-4) shot the will out of Utah. Wesley Matthews, Damian Lillard and Co. hit 17 of 23 3-pointers in that blowout, setting an NBA record shooting percentage beyond the arc with more than 15 attempts.
After the Jazz showed life before halftime, the Blazers zapped it right out of the visitors with a second-half-opening 10-0 run. Portland outscored Utah 40-13 in that third quarter to take a 107-69 lead after 36 minutes.
“We’re playing good. We play like a team,” former Jazz guard Earl Watson said Friday night about his new squad in Portland. “We have fun. The locker room’s always loose. (We) work hard, though.”
Watson, who played in Utah the past three seasons, remains a fan of his old organization and especially his old younger buddies Hayward, Jeremy Evans, Alec Burks, Favors and Kanter.
“I want them to play well because I think they have a good young team. They have a great young core,” Watson said. “I’m a big Hayward fan. I’ve always been a fan. It’s amazing to see him get his opportunity to grow. The young guys that I know that are there are amazing people.”
After saying that Friday night, Watson smiled and added, “Hopefully in the next seven days they can figure it out.”1 comment on this story
After the struggling Jazz play the Blazers again, that is.
NOTES: Burke recorded the first double-double of his career Saturday with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He also had seven assists but missed 14 of 19 shots and had four turnovers. “He’s working. There’s a lot of improvement to make, but he’s learning a lot,” Corbin said. “His numbers were great tonight. Ten rebounds for a point guard is pretty good to get, especially for his size. Shows some good stuff.” Kanter, Evans and Mike Harris all fouled out Saturday, marking the first time since Feb. 27, 2006 that Utah had three players foul out in regulation or one overtime. Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, Jarron Collins and Keith McLeod all fouled out of that 117-108 OT victory at Golden State. Kanter on getting a sixth foul after Kings center DeMarcus Cousins seemingly flopped to the floor. "It already happened, so even if I say anything about it, it's not going to matter, so I'm not going to say anything about it." ... Shooting guard Burks scored 19 points Saturday and has now reached double figures in six straight games.