MIAMI — Christmas on the 25th. Road woes back East. Another loss in Miami.
Some things never change, and Wednesday night had to feel like same ol', same ol' for the Jazz after an 80-70 loss to the Heat in American Airlines Arena at the tail end of yet another disastrous holiday trip.
It was the lowest-scoring game since January of 2006 against San Antonio for 16-13 Utah, which has lost two straight and six of its last 11 games.
It also was the seventh straight loss in Miami and the 11th defeat in its last 12 games against the Heat for the Jazz.
And it didn't soften the blow whatsoever that it came in the fifth game and ninth day of a 2-3 road trip that began with a win at New Jersey way back on Dec. 16, but also included a blowout loss at Atlanta and Monday's fourth-quarter collapse at Orlando.
"You can use excuses, but you've got to want it more than that," point guard Deron Williams. "I think it's more mental than physical. You want to get home — but you want to try to win before you go home."
The Jazz didn't come close to that Wednesday.
Certainly not after Miami, up 39-38 at the time, used an 18-2 run in the third quarter to take control.
The Heat never let its lead slip below double digits after that.
"That was the game right there," said Jazz forward Carlos Boozer, who opened 5-for-6 from the field and scored Utah's first 12 points — but shot 1-for-8 the rest of the way en route to a sub-par 14-point night in the city he calls home.
"We stopped doing what we were doing in the first half," Williams added. "You know, regardless of how bad you shoot or how many times you turn the ball over you still have to have that defensive effort — and we didn't have that in the third quarter."
Heat star Dwyane Wade finished with a game-high 29 points on 12-for-28 shooting, including eight — an alley-oop dunk fed by former Utah guard Carlos Arroyo, and three jumpers — during the decisive run.
Whether it was Williams or C.J. Miles or rookie Wesley Matthews, it didn't matter who — or how — the Jazz defended Wade.
"He's a great player, and is known to hit tough shots," said Williams, who scored a team-high 18 while shooting 7-for-10. "It happens."
"You don't stop guys like that. They've got the ability to know how to get on top of the basket," Sloan added. "He would have broken our guys legs if we weren't careful, the way he came at our big guys on the back side. They were stymied if he got in there."
Sloan wasn't pleased, either, by how his Jazz responded to Miami's pressure defense.
"They were all over us. ... We couldn't handle the basketball," he said. "We had 21 turnovers for 28 points. In a low-scoring game like that, that's like playing giveaway. ... If they wanted the ball, they got up and got in our face and took it away from us. They were a lot more alive, and wanted to play some defense. We had a tough time breathing out there, as tight as they were on us.
"We turned the ball over just because they got up and got after us and took the ball right out of our hand. I mean, if you can't make a pass or play, then it's pretty tough to play against everybody.
"Everything went their way, because they worked harder than we did," added Sloan, whose Jazz will practice Christmas night and play host to Philadelphia on Saturday. "I mean these guys in (the Jazz locker room) looked like they didn't even have enough energy to play. That's a terrible thing to see."
NOTES: Jazz backup power forward Paul Millsap sustained a mild concussion and needed 10 stitches to close a cut inside and outside lip after apparently catching an elbow from Miami's Joel Anthony. Millsap was called for a foul on the third-quarter play, and did not return afterward. ... Jazz shooting guard Kyle Korver sat out a second straight game, and said he plans to undergo another electroshock therapy today in Utah with hopes it will help his still-hurting surgically repaired knee. With Korver out, the Jazz dressed all 11 of their healthy players. ... Miami-starter Arroyo scored seven points in 19 minutes. ... Veteran forward Matt Harpring, whose expiring contract was traded by Utah on Tuesday, didn't have to report to Oklahoma City because his need to pass a physical was waived by the Thunder. Harpring has career-ending knee and ankle injuries, and no plans to play for the Thunder.