Jazz-Nets Preview

Playing four games in five nights is difficult enough, but the

Utah Jazz will test their stamina in order to complete the

stretch.

Fresh off playing one of the longest games in NBA history, Utah

visits the New Jersey Nets on Monday night seeking its sixth win in

seven meetings.

The Jazz (26-23), one of three teams tied for seventh place in

the Western Conference, had their season-high six-game winning

streak snapped with a 139-133 quadruple-overtime loss to Atlanta on

Sunday.

It tied for the third-longest game in league history and was

only the ninth ever to go into four overtimes. Phoenix beat

Portland on Nov. 14, 1997, in the most recent occurrence.

Al Jefferson scored 28 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, while

Paul Millsap added 25 points and 13 boards.

”We’ll take a moral victory out of this one,” Millsap said.

”This was a good ball team we played tonight. They played

excellent defense. We just didn’t get it done.”

Jefferson dismissed questions about fatigue leading into the

next contest, which will be Utah’s fourth since Thursday.

”It’s over with,” Jefferson said. ”We’ve just got to get

ready for tomorrow. That’s why you get in shape. We can’t make any

excuses.”

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin was happy with his team’s effort.

“We showed a lot of character and fight,” Corbin said. ”That’s

what we need on the road in the second half to win. We’ve got to

make sure we understand that’s what’s going to make us have a

chance.”

Jefferson had 20 points in Utah’s 107-94 win over New Jersey on

Jan. 14, helping the Jazz to a fifth victory in the last six

meetings.

That matchup also marked the first for Nets point guard Deron

Williams against his former team, though he shot only 3 of 15 and

finished with 16 points and five turnovers.

Williams, who was dealt to New Jersey on Feb. 24, 2011, for

Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round draft picks, had

19 points and tied his season high with 14 assists as the Nets

(16-34) ended a five-game losing streak with a 102-89 win over

league-worst Charlotte on Saturday.

Kris Humphries added 20 points and 16 rebounds for New Jersey,

which has lost seven of nine.

”It was a good win, a long time coming,” Williams said.

”We’ve needed it for a while, so I’m definitely happy about

it.”

Coach Avery Johnson also seemed relieved with the victory after

meeting with general manager Billy King prior to the game.

”We just needed a win,” Johnson said. ”It was one of those

games, by any means necessary.”

New Jersey broke out of its scoring slump after averaging 87.4

points during its skid. It ranks 25th in the league averaging 92.7

points overall.

It might find points harder to come by Monday. Jordan Farmar is

expected to miss at least the next 10 days with a lingering groin

injury, while Anthony Morrow won’t play against the Jazz because of

a bruised right shoulder. He’s day to day.

Utah is allowing 98.3 points per game but has surged offensively

of late, averaging 109.2 points while winning seven of nine.

Jefferson is averaging 25.7 points and 10.6 rebounds over his

last three, and he scored a career-high 40 points against the Nets

while playing for Minnesota on Jan. 27, 2008.