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Utah Jazz: Utah players say team remains united despite tough stretch

Published: Saturday, March 29 2014 7:13 p.m. MDT

Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks, right, loses control of the ball against Memphis Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 96-86. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey) (Lance Murphey, AP) Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks, right, loses control of the ball against Memphis Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 96-86. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey) (Lance Murphey, AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Jazz finish their rough month with a tough back-to-back, beginning with Sunday afternoon’s game at Oklahoma City followed by a home game Monday against the New York Knicks.

Despite the busy schedule and the amassing losses — 14 defeats in 16 games — the Jazz claim their locker room remains united.

“We’re definitely together. At the end of the day this is our job. We understand. We’re not getting discouraged or anything,” Jazz point guard Trey Burke said. “We all know we’re good players. We all know what we’re capable of doing. No matter what, we’re sticking together; that’s the good thing about it.”

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin credited his team for pushing an opponent on the road before falling 102-95 Friday at New Orleans.

Utah Jazz's guard Trey Burke (3) works to get free of Memphis Grizzlies' guard Mike Conley (11) as the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies play Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Memphis won 91-87 (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah Jazz's guard Trey Burke (3) works to get free of Memphis Grizzlies' guard Mike Conley (11) as the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies play Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Memphis won 91-87 (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

“They came out on the road and have a chance to win the ballgame. ... We fought to the end,” he said. “We made some mistakes; that happens. But these guys are fighting and they’re giving what they have.”

BURKS BACK?: The Jazz have been without second-leading scorer Alec Burks for the past week, but he could suit up Sunday after missing four consecutive contests with a sprained left ankle.

Burks practiced Saturday in New Orleans before the team flew out to OKC. He’s officially listed as a game-time decision, which is an upgrade.

“I hope he’s back Sunday. But who knows? We’ll see,” Corbin said after Friday’s game. “We don’t want to take a chance to hurt him further. We want to do the right thing by him. We’d like to have him back, but we don’t want to rush him.”

Added Hayward: “He’s a playmaker. He’s a spark off the bench for us. We definitely miss him.”

TIME TO WORK: The Jazz only have nine games left in this character-testing rebuilding season. No better time for members of the 23-50 squad to remember that they’re being paid to play, right?

That is how Jazz captain Gordon Hayward is looking at it to stay motivated.

“It’s a new game every night no matter what your record is," Hayward said. "For me at least, I don’t want other teams to win and get the better of me that night, so you’ve just got to have some type of pride within you as an individual and do your job.

“It is our job. We’re professionals, so you’ve got to turn on that switch.”

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