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News » Utah Jazz: Boo birds come out in Jazz home loss

Utah Jazz: Boo birds come out in Jazz home loss

Utah Jazz: Boo birds come out in Jazz home loss
The last time the Jazz played a set of back-to-back games at home was more than seven years ago. It's safe to say they probably won't do so again as long as Larry Miller, Greg Miller or any future generation of Millers owns the team.

The Jazz looked nothing like the team that blew away Sacramento 24 hours earlier at EnergySolutions Arena, hearing boos from the home fans for the first time this season in a 105-88 loss to the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.

Not only did the Jazz suffer their second home loss in six days - not to mention their worst home loss since falling 126-98 to Phoenix on April 14, 2007 - they also watched Andrei Kirilenko leave the game in the second quarter with an injured right ankle.

There was no obvious play in which he was injured. Kirilenko said he started feeling discomfort after Friday's game, but thought it was a cramp. He warmed up and decided to play Saturday but left after 10 minutes with weakness in the ankle.

"I could not continue," Kirilenko said. "I just couldn't step, couldn't make the first step, play defense. It's just been bothering me."

Although X-rays were negative for any sprains or fractures, Kirilenko is bothered by a point of irritation. It seems as soon as the Jazz welcome back Deron Williams from a sprained ankle, Kirilenko could be joining Carlos Boozer among the injured.

"Tell me, tell me," said Kirilenko, who will be re-evaluated today. "There's nothing you can say. Everybody like did something. We've already lost a lot of people. I'll try to recover as much as possible, but there's nothing I can do."

Devin Harris, meanwhile, finished with 34 points, only four shy of his career-high, and was almost the perfect storm for the Jazz. He was too quick for Williams and Ronnie Price, with the Jazz having little shot-blocking presence to deny Harris once he got in the lane.

"We tried doubling him, we tried a couple of different things on the pick-and-rolls and stuff, but we never did get him under control," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "He had a terrific game. He had an absolutely terrific game."

Harris hit one shot in the first half when he spun on Williams, stepped through and banked in an 8-footer. By the fourth quarter, Nets coach Lawrence Frank was clearing out his players to give Harris better lanes to attack the basket.

The Jazz gave up 59 points in the first half, with Harris scoring nine of his 19 in the last 3:32. Sloan described it as a "cocktail for failure" and the Jazz failed to match the energy they brought in their 44-point third quarter against Sacramento.

Sloan immediately regretted his decision not to bring in the Jazz for a pregame shootaround, though Kyle Korver disagreed. "None of it's on him," Korver said. "It's all on us. We just didn't come out and play well tonight."

As hesitant as he was about playing the second game of a back-to-back so soon after returning, Williams finished with 10 points and 13 assists in 30 minutes, saying afterward, "It wasn't a good Basketball game for us."

The Jazz shot 43.4 percent and totaled 19 turnovers, including five by Williams. They switched to a zone defense and closed within 64-60 on a C.J. Miles three-pointer with 7:49 left in the third as the Nets came up empty on five straight possessions.

But the Nets called timeout and answered with an 8-0 run, starting as Yi Jianlian hit a three-pointer and Harris pushed the ball, leading to a Bobby Simmons jumper. New Jersey took an 83-67 lead into the fourth as Vince Carter (22 points) hit a tough turnaround over Miles and a three-pointer.

"I don't think we came out with a lot of energy, as much energy as we should have," Williams said. "It was a back-to-back, but we were at home. We slept in our own beds, we didn't have to travel anywhere. They were just really aggressive the whole game, offensively and defensively."

* IN SHORT: The Jazz suffer their worst home loss since the end of the 2006-07 season, falling by 17 to New Jersey.

* KEY MOMENT: Yi Jianlian hits a three-pointer to make it 67-60 after the Jazz had climbed back into the game with a zone defense.

* KEY STAT: Devin Harris scores 34 points and misses more free throws (five) than shots from the field (four) in going 13-for-17.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 30, 2008


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