MIAMI — The Utah Jazz beat the Miami Heat at EnergySolutions Arena last March, but that one-point win is almost more memorable for what didn’t happen.
With time running out, LeBron James passed to Udonis Haslem for a game-winning attempt instead of taking it himself. The Jazz eked out a thrilling 99-98 win thanks to Haslem's missed jumper, which came right after Devin Harris' three-point play with 4.5 seconds remaining.
That victory gave the Jazz a win over the Heat in each of the first two seasons after the Big Three stars converged in Miami. (See related story on Paul Millsap revisiting his miracle night in November 2010.)
So while the Jazz are coming off a pathetic performance in Indiana — trailing by 32 before rallying to lose by the score of 104-84 — the team believes it has an opportunity to win Saturday night at American Airlines Arena.
The Jazz enter this game with a 14-13 record and are just 5-11 on the road. Miami, coming off a blowout win at Dallas on Thursday, is 17-6 and 12-2 at home.
"They’re a good team and you've got to make sure that we understand we can play with them, first of all," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "But we have to play a certain way to have a chance to be successful against them."
Corbin is quite concerned with the versatility the Heat have with guys like Ray Allen and Shane Battier complementing James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. With all that firepower, the Jazz coach said the Heat are capable of getting on 20-point rolls whereas most NBA teams are limited to runs in the 10-point area.
"They're so explosive," he said, "and they can hit you in so many different areas."
One particular area of concern is the long passes between James and Wade. The Heat try to exploit lagging transition defenses with their bursts of athleticism.
But Millsap thinks Miami looks more vulnerable than it did last year en route to its NBA title.
"They don't look as comfortable as they did last year," he said. "Teams (are) coming in and beating them. Hopefully, we can be one of those teams."
MIAMI NICE: It was joked at practice Friday that the Jazz received an extra couple of days in Miami this year between Wednesday’s game in Indiana and Saturday night's matchup against the Heat to make up for not playing here during the lockout-shortened season.
"They cheated us from this good weather," Jazz center Al Jefferson said. "They did owe us this." Utah, which has been in Miami since flying from Indiana late Wednesday night, will travel to Orlando after Saturday night's game to finish off this four-game trip Sunday.
MAYANS VS. MIAMI: Jazz center Enes Kanter never doubted that the world wouldn’t end Friday as was supposedly predicted by the Mayan calendar.
"The world's not going to end," he said Friday morning.
The 20-year-old Kanter then provided a good laugh.
"There's too much to live (for)," he said. "We've got one more night (in Miami). I don't want to die yet."
MIAMI MEMORY: Miami is one of nine NBA teams that Corbin played for during his 16-season career. He played in 22 games with the Heat during the 1995-96 campaign, averaging 4.6 points and 16.1 minutes.
Corbin chuckled when asked if he was one of the Heat's Big Three at the time.
"What does big mean?" he said, laughing. "Yeah. I'd be one of the Big Three."
Of course, all that meant, he joked, was that his coach would tell him, "You’re going to dress tonight."
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