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News » Jazz get wake-up message


Jazz get wake-up message


Jazz get wake-up message
Ronnie Brewer overslept in the morning. But the Washington Wizards never woke up in the evening, and the Jazz ? albeit only after a super-quick timeout ? did. That allowed Utah to roll over the snoozing Wizards on Tuesday night, as the Jazz ?

in their first game back following a five-stop road trip ? won 103-88 at EnergySolutions Solution Arena and halted a three-game losing skid. "I don't think it was our best effort," point guard Deron Wlliams said after committing eight of the Jazz's 19 turnovers, "but we did what we had to do." And while it may not have been nearly enough for the 42-26 Jazz to knock off a player-caliber opponent, it was plenty to overcome a 16-52 Wizards club whose many injured absentees included Gilbert Arenas, Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler and ex-Jazz shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson. "It was important for us to get this one, just for our confidence," Williams said. "We had three tough losses on the road (at Atlanta, Miami and Orlando), and we were struggling." "It was a sloppy game," said power forward Carlos Boozer. "It wasn't pretty by any means. But to get off a three-game losing streak, we'll take it." Utah shot 50.6 percent from the field but the Eastern Conference cellar-dwelling Wizards made a Jazz season opponent low of just 35.6 percent. The Jazz committed two turnovers and Washington one in the game's first 14 seconds, which combined came 17 seconds faster than three miscues have been committed at the start of any NBA game this season. That and a Utah defensive blunder ? they were supposed to trap early, but didn't ? prompted coach Jerry Sloan to call a 20-second timeout just 47 seconds into the game. "That doesn't happen too often, where he calls timeouts that quick," Williams said. "That was great by Coach. That was exactly what Coach needed to do," Boozer added. "You know, he realized that we weren't on point and that we had a couple turnovers early? That was the smartest thing he could do, just to make sure we were back in line." With that, the Jazz coasted to a 10-point halftime lead that reached 25 first when Kyle Korver made a 3-pointer with 4:45 remaining and again when Brewer ? who didn't start because he overslept and missed morning shootaround ? knocked down a 20-footer. Korver led seven Jazz scorers in double figures with 15 points, with Brewer, Boozer and Mehmet Okur all adding 13, Williams 12 and Andrei Kirilenko and Paul Millsap 10 each. "We all responded (to the timeout)," Boozer said. "You saw it. We came out more focused, more aggressive, better defense, DWill (Williams) wasn't turning the ball over as much." Williams' eight assists included one that went backward and between his legs to Okur for a jumper that made it 62-43 in the third quarter, and another on the Jazz's next trip down the floor that was delivered from behind the halfcourt line to C.J. Miles for a backward alley-oop dunk. "I was surprised to see him (Miles) that open," Williams said. "It means he wasn't rebounding." Williams' audience laughed at the barb, but Sloan ? whose Jazz were playing their lone home game amid 6-of-7 on the road ? wasn't at all amused with the show he saw. Asked for positives, he said, "The fact that we won ? that's about the only thing, I'd really say." The Jazz coach even expressed worry over the motivation of his club ? which remains seventh in the NBA's Western Conference, and third in the Northwest Division ? for finishing the season. "That's one of the things I always have a concern about, is 'Are the playoffs important enough for you to be able to go after it?' " he said. "You know, we can talk about it all we want ? but sometimes our effort doesn't look like that." Such, he suggested, was the case Tuesday. So when he saw misplaced blame being passed early on, Sloan felt as if he had no choice but to deliver a personal wake-up call in the form of one really fast timeout. "That's one of the problems you have when you lose two or three games," he said. "I always say, 'You need to get your ice picks out and go out to the parking lot and go at each other.' "I'd rather have you do that," Sloan added, "than mouth around in here all the time about something that's not going right, and you're not getting enough shots, or not getting enough minutes." E-MAIL: tbuckley@desnews.com


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 19, 2009

 

 
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