They were playing an above-.500, playoff-bound opponent. They were at home. And they were not playing Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Once the Jazz realized all that Monday night, nothing was about to stop them.
Certainly not weary Washington, which was on the tail end a five-game Western road trip and had lost the night before in overtime to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Utah rolled as a result, shaking off the shock of Sunday's loss to the Timberwolves their second defeat in as many trips to Minnesota this season for a 129-87 victory over the Wizards at sold-out EnergySolutions Arena.
"You know," coach Jerry Sloan said after his Northwest Division-leading club improved to 49-26, "you're always worried about how they're gonna react, how they're gonna sit around and mumble and grumble about what happened (the previous game).
"But they forgot about it," Sloan added, "and came out and played."
Did they ever, paced by reserve swingman C.J. Miles' career-high 29 points, which included 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.
The Jazz reached some milestones and threatened several others, not the least of which was a franchise-record 15 made 3-pointers breaking the old mark of 14 set earlier this season against New Orleans.
En route to pushing its NBA-best home record to 33-4, Utah also:
• Won by its biggest margin since 2002, tying for fourth-largest in franchise history and finishing just six shy of the franchise record of 48 vs. Milwaukee in 1990;
• Beat a team by 40-plus for just the eight time in franchise history;
• Set a franchise record for 3-pointers made in a half, hitting nine in the first to surpass the old mark of eight, which was reached three times earlier this season;
• Tied the franchise record for 3-pointers made in a quarter with seven in the second;
• Led in the fourth quarter by a season-high 47 points, 10 more than its previous high vs. Denver earlier this month;
• Dished a season-high 40 assists, two better than the previous best, including a game-high 16 from point guard Deron Williams.
"This is a big victory for us after a bad loss," Williams said.
"Every now and then a team gets hot, where everybody's hitting, everybody's clicking," he added, "and I think that was the case tonight."
Miles, starting at small forward in place of the injured Andrei Kirilenko, had the hottest hand early on, scoring 14 of his 29 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field in the first quarter to send the Jazz into the second up by nine.
When Williams knocked down one of his two treys with 3.5 seconds remaining before halftime, the Jazz's lead stood at a whopping 32, 73-41.
Washington without not only injured and out-all-season star Gilbert Arenas, but also All-Star Caron Butler (strained hamstring) and would-be starting point guard Antonio Daniels (sprained wrist) never got closer than within 30 after the break.
"We had a lot of plays where we got out and ran, and guys were just trailing, and we were able to get open for looks and knocked them down," Williams said of the Jazz's 3-point shooting, which also included three makes each from Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver, two from Ronnie Price and one, the one which set the franchise record in the final quarter, by rookie Morris Almond.
More than the 3-point shooting, though, Williams was impressed by Utah's assist count.
"I thought we did a great job of making the extra pass," he said. "Guys were sharing the ball. The ball wasn't sticking in anybody's hands.
"You know," Williams added, "that happens a lot in our offenses, where we get a little timid and things start slowing down and sticking in guys' hands. But we were moving that thing around like a hot potato tonight. I think when we pass the ball like that, it's hard to beat us."No matter where they are, or whom they're playing.
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