Big Al Slams Home 2 Crucial Points Late in the Jazz OT Win vs the Kings

Utah Jazz Defeat Sacramento Kings in OT: End 7 Game Home Losing Streak

Never has a win over the a tied for the 2nd worst record in the NBA tasted so sweet. Not since 1982 had the Jazz lost so many games in a row at home, and when Marcus Thornton nailed a 3 pointer with 14.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 95 and the Jazz couldn’t convert on the other end, Jazz fans had to be thinking here we go again.

However, behind Al Jefferson, who finished the game with 27 points, and 2 key Raja Bell jumpers, the Jazz outscored the Kings 14-7 in OT and in the process halted the franchises longest home losing streak since the Ronald Regan Administration. More importantly, the Jazz moved back into the hunt in the Western Conference playoff race.

“Oh man, to get a win, in any kind of way, is a sense of relief for us,” said coach Ty Corbin, who won his first home game as head coach. “The guys have been busting their butts, and it’s good to finally get a reward at the end.” Corbin moved to 2-7 since taking over for Jerry Sloan, and the Jazz now set their sites on a key 4 game road trip beginning Monday vs the Knicks.

The Jazz keep a dry-erase board in their locker room that shows the Western Conference playoff standings, the top 8 teams and close contenders are listed in black, Utah was listed in red. But, last night’s win moved the Jazz to within 1/2 game of Phoenix for the 9th spot and 1 game behind Memphis for the 8th and final playoff spot.  The Suns and Grizzlies both have tough road games today at the Thunder and Mavericks, 2 of the Western Conference elite, loses today by both move the Jazz right back in the hunt.

The Jazz may be shorthanded as they embark on their key 4 game road trip. Paul Millsap left last night’s game with a knee injury, Andre Kirilenko finished the game but is listed as day to day after tweaking his back, and reserve center Kyrylo Fesenko left the game with back spasms and may not make the trip. That could means more minutes for newly acquired Derrick Favors and veteran reserve Francisco Elson, who had perhaps his best game in a Jazz uniform in last nights win grabbing 9 rebounds, including a key offensive rebound and steal late in overtime. The Jazz are now 4-0 in overtime this season.

Jazz Nation can only hope that last nights win will provide the team a much needed confidence boost as they enter a run of seven road games in nine contests that will define the team’s roller coaster season and go a long way to determining the teams playoff hopes. Many teams would fold under the pressure the Jazz are about to face but according to Jazz guard C.J. Miles coach  Corbin and his staff are sending a different message “Bring it.”

Jazz fans do you think your team will do just that and “Bring it’ or will they crumble under the pressure of playing 7 of their next 9 on the road? Good news is we won’t have to wait long to find out as the Jazz square off tomorrow vs the new look Knicks. However, based on what I’ve been reading on various Jazz message boards many fans want the team to miss the playoffs giving them 2 lottery picks in this yeas draft. You will not find that same  sentiment shared by this reporter.

Tags: Al Jefferson Andrei Kirilenko Derrick Favors Francisco Elson Kyrylo Fesenko Paul Millsap Raja Bell Tyrone Corbin

  • Jazz Fan

    Great article Kenny. I hope last night is a sign of things to come, the Jazz actually finishing down the stretch instead of losing games by turnovers and poor defense. This road trip is huge for their playoff hopes.

  • Bye Bye D Willy

    Wow, I has about to give up on Purple and Blues figuring you guys had the blues and went in the tank like the Jazz the last month. It’s nice to see some optimism, talk radio here in SLC and message boards on the local papers are surprisingly 50/50 on fans wanting the Jazz to miss the playoffs so they get the 2nd lottery pick. How can you call yourself a Jazz fan and hope that? How many picks in the late lottery are that great anyway, you really want another Quincy Lewis or Kirk Snyder. Wouldn’t it be so much sweeter to see them get hot and pull off a 1st round upset? Good job Kenny hope to see more articles and more banter on these boards Jazz fans!

  • Big Jazz fan

    Alright, I have to admit that I didn’t like the big trade. But now watching the Jazz bust their butts, it’s like the Jazz of old and they definitely had to win this game. Hopefully it will start a good winning streak. This is an awesome blog. PLAYOFFS OR BUST!!!!!

  • Kenny Shulsen

    Thanks for the nice words Jazz Fans. Today was actually my first post on Purple and Blues and I hope to get on board just in time to watch the Jazz make a late playoff surge. Good news the Suns lost so they are now tied with Utah, the bad, the Grizzlies came from behind and won at Dallas to move a game and a half ahead of the Jazz for the 8th spot in the West.

  • JP

    Sorry to be the realist here but the Jazz had to go to OT to beat the 2nd worst team in the NBA at home. Do you really think they are going to go on the road and beat the new look Knicks, who just hammered Atlanta and also beat The Heat @ Miami this week, not to mention the Bulls on the 2nd night of a back to back on the road. The ONLY way the Jazz return from this road trip in playoff contention is if they go 2-2, they have to beat Toronto and Minnesota. Also welcome aboard Kenny it’s nice to know someone on FanSided cares about providing readers with up to date Jazz news.

  • 25 Year SeasonTicket Holder

    Good job Kenny – give us regular and frequent updates – no one has taken the bull by the horn in the past – may be you are the man!! I have never seen a Jazz team with so much future potential – if Greg/Kevin can hold the core together this could be a GREAT team in the future. BUT the Jazz will not tank this season, it’s stupid, the second lottery pick would be near the bottom of the list and besides it’s NOT in our DNA

  • Kenny Shulsen

    Wow the Jazz, aside from Big Al and Favors, looked intimidated and the Knicks were `en fuego’ in a disheartening beatdown. This team did not look like a playoff team tonight!