For me, it’s just all about winning. Winning basketball games. It feels good to win the first three in a row. —Gordon Hayward
SALT LAKE CITY — Derrick Rose took a bow at center court after hitting a go-ahead 3-pointer near the end of regulation.
Five-plus minutes later, Rose and the Chicago Bulls bowed out of an exciting overtime game.
Gordon Hayward, who deserved to take a bow by the time the final horn finally sounded on a thrilling 105-96 victory over the Bulls, didn’t see the celebratory body gesture Rose did shortly before the Jazz forced overtime and then won.
But the Jazz captain had one word to describe Rose’s bow.
“Karma,” Hayward said.
However the Jazz got their fortune on this night — and most of it was from the play of guys like Hayward, Rodney Hood, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert and Raul Neto — it resulted in the team’s first three-game winning streak of the season.
It certainly wouldn’t have happened without the play of Hayward, who dominated overtime with eight points and put together a terrific all-around game with 27 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
“I think I’m an elite player in this league. I have to find ways to help my team win more. We’re learning how to do that,” said Hayward when asked where he stacks up in the league.
“For me, it’s just all about winning. Winning basketball games. It feels good to win the first three in a row.”
The Jazz, as Hayward noted, have a good chance to extend their winning streak with two more home games — Wednesday against Denver and Friday vs. Milwaukee — before finishing up their pre-All-Star-break schedule with three road games.
Even Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who’s swatted away questions about winning streaks like Favors did Bulls shots Monday (four blocks), broke down and admitted to feeling good about the streak.
“I hope that at some point we won’t get too excited about a three-game winning streak,” Snyder said. A moment later, he added, "I will say I'm happy about a three-game winning streak. As much as I don't want to say it, I'm happy with it."
Snyder had a lot to be happy about in this win, which helped the Jazz improve to 22-25 against the third-best team in the Eastern Conference.
Rose, who was outplayed by Jazz rookie point guard Neto, gave the Bulls a 93-90 lead with a 3-pointer and followed that up with his premature bow.
Hayward ended up on the free-throw line on the next possession and hit the first but missed the second freebie. Fortunately for Utah, Hood ended up with the ball.
After a timeout, Hayward made a strong drive past 7-footer Pau Gasol and tied the game.
Hayward had a chance to win it in regulation after knocking a pass off of Jimmy Butler’s hand and out of bounds, but his game-winner was off. He smiled after missing it, and then proceeded to score eight of the Jazz’s 12 points in overtime.
The Bulls, who lost 120-93 on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers, were spent by the extra session. They only scored three in overtime.
“He’s made a believer out of people that are around him,” Snyder said of Hayward.
It’s good karma, you might say.
Some might believe some positive vibes came the Jazz’s way after they recently suffered two tough overtime losses on last week’s road trip in Charlotte and New York.
“It’s good to finally win an overtime game because we needed one of those,” Hayward said. “We fought. It was good to close one out tonight.”
Others might believe this Jazz team was deserving of some good karma after all of the injuries the squad has endured since last summer, including key injuries to Dante Exum, Gobert, Alec Burks and Favors.
The Jazz had plenty of supportive sidekicks to the night’s hero.
Neto finished with a career-high 14 points, and the Jazz outscored the Bulls by 18 points when he was on the court hounding Rose.
Gobert contributed 16 points and 12 rebounds, Favors had 13 points, eight rebounds and those timely swats, and Hood fired in 19 before fouling out.
Butler led the Bulls (26-21) with 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists, Gasol had 19 points and eight rebounds before he fouled out late in overtime, and Rose contributed just 14 points against a feisty Neto.
“He’s a heck of a competitor,” Snyder said of Neto. “Rose came to play and Raul did a terrific job all night fighting him.”
The Bulls have lost five of seven games.
"We had a good opportunity to win," Gasol said. "We didn't make the plays we needed to offensively and they made their plays. At the end, they played better than we did and they took the game." Karma, some might say.
JAZZ NOTES: Hayward's 12 rebounds were a season-high for him. "I had a mindset to go in and get some rebounds," he said. "The bigs are battling with their bigs so it opens it up for me to come in and get some rebounds." ... The Jazz have now won all five overtime games they've ever played against Chicago, including one NBA Finals contest. ... Trey Burke scored 10 points off the bench for Utah.