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News » Utah Jazz: London Jazz come falling down: Chicago rookie nails buzzer beater to hand Jazz loss in front of sellout crowd

Utah Jazz: London Jazz come falling down: Chicago rookie nails buzzer beater to hand Jazz loss in front of sellout crowd

Utah Jazz: London Jazz come falling down: Chicago rookie nails buzzer beater to hand Jazz loss in front of sellout crowd LONDON ? The crowd, many wearing Chicago Bulls jerseys and a few those of the Utah Jazz , did the wave. Music pumped through The O2 Arena sound-system, including a version of "If You're Happy and You Know It." And the public-address announcer seemed to relish calling particularly proper names, like Spencer Nelson and Wesley Matthews.

Ultimately, though, the Jazz's 102-101 NBA EuropeLive 2009 tour loss to Chicago amounted to little more than a mere preseason game. Still ? save for the breakout play of undrafted free agent rookie swingman Matthews, the 16-point performance of point guard Deron Williams, a comeback bid spurred by 18-point scorer Paul Millsap and the continued development of rookie point Eric Maynor ? it stung. Bulls rookie James Johnson rebounded the miss of a 3-point attempt by teammate Derrick Byars, and his 16-foot buzzer-beater from the left side over the outstretched arm of Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko got Utah off to an 0-1 start in its two-game overseas trip. The Jazz , who visit Spanish League power Real Madrid on Thursday, did not object when told that the international version of hybrid rules being used for the game would not allow an instant-replay to confirm that Johnson's shot beat the clock. But replays seen later confirmed it did, leaving those from Utah to savor only what did go their way in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,689 at what will be the main Basketball venue when London hosts the 2012 Olympic Games. "I thought Eric did a good job for us trying to run out offense and get us a decent shot every time," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan of Maynor, despite his 1-for-7 field shooting. Maynor has a guaranteed contract for the coming season, but Matthews ? who, with regular C.J. Miles back in the United States and about to undergo surgery on his ruptured left thumb ligament, got a start Tuesday at small forward ? does not. He left a favorable impression, however, after scoring 16 and hitting 3-for-4 shots from 3-point range. "He's played really hard in training camp, and he played awfully well down in Orlando at (summer league) training camp," Sloan said of Matthews, who played at Marquette and ? along with NBA journeyman Ronald Dupree ? is a candidate for the Jazz's 14th roster spot. "His (summer) games weren't as good until the last game. It looked like confidence was a big thing. But he seemed to have a lot of confidence (Tuesday), and he's got some toughness to get over screens, fight over screens, and he puts the ball on the floor. "He's shown that he has an ability to shoot the ball out on the floor," Sloan added. "We just have to wait and see. He's still a young guy (at 22)." Williams, who sat for most of the fourth quarter, liked what he saw in Matthews, too. "I was really impressed with Wes even before we started preseason," Williams said. "I felt like he can be a guy that can stick around on this team. He's been playing pretty well in practice. "He struggled a little bit in the ( Jazz's ) first preseason game, but give him a little more time in this game and he showed what he can do. He's picked up things pretty quickly in our offense, and defensively I think Coach Sloan likes what he can do out there." Millsap scored 10 of his 16 in the fourth quarter, when the Jazz ? with mostly him, Maynor, Kirilenko, Kosta Kofous and Ronnie Price on the floor ? outscored Chicago 24-21. When Maynor and combo guard Price were together, the rookie played the point and Price at shooting guard ? a small but defensively strong pair that may team that way during the regular season. Price's two free throws put Utah up 101-100 with 25.4 seconds to go, but the Bulls ? up by as many as five points early in the fourth quarter ? answered after a pair of 20-second timeouts. Johnson and British citizen Luol Deng led Chicago with 18 apiece. Regulars Derrick Rose (ankle sprain) and Tyrus Thomas (hip contusion) did not play for Chicago, which ? though the same spectators sometimes seemed to be cheering for both sides ? was the crowd favorite. Not that ex-Bull Sloan appeared to mind. "The nice thing about it: They seemed to have fun," the Jazz coach said. "I think everybody had fun." e-mail:

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Added: October 8, 2009


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