Jazz-Nets Preview

BY foxsports • January 21, 2016

The Utah Jazz's four-game road trip has started off with a couple of overtime losses.

They might not have to worry about a similarly close result Friday night when they face the lowly Brooklyn Nets, who have hardly been competitive in January.

Two nights after a 124-119 double-OT defeat to Charlotte, the Jazz (18-24) lost 118-111 in OT to New York on Wednesday. Gordon Hayward drew a foul on Kristaps Porzingis while shooting a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds to go and hit all three free throws to tie the game at 99, but the Knicks dominated the extra period.

''I thought tonight we controlled and outplayed them the entire game and then in the last six minutes we kind of fell apart,'' said Hayward, who scored 27 points. ''We're a young team. We need to learn from these and take positives from it, but it's definitely frustrating.''

Rodney Hood had 29 points, six rebounds and five assists for Utah, which led 48-37 after the first half. The Jazz, though, were outscored 50-35 in the fourth quarter and OT and allowed New York to shoot 52.2 percent for the game.

''We played a great first half and we talked about what the game would become in the second half,'' coach Quin Snyder said. ''They were going to raise their physicality and they did. The game got very, very physical. We have to be tougher.''

After two straight games that went beyond regulation, Snyder's team should benefit from not having to leave the city for the next stop on its trip. The Jazz have won three of the last four road matchups with the Nets and swept the 2014-15 season series.

Utah has taken 10 of the past 13 meetings.

Brooklyn (11-32) hasn't come close to forcing overtime much recently. The Nets have lost nine of 10 and been outscored by an average of 102.1-86.8 in the defeats.

The latest one came Wednesday, 91-78 at home to Cleveland in a game in which LeBron James and Kevin Love didn't play in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers led 73-55 after three.

''I don't think it was our best effort since I've taken over,'' interim coach Tony Brown said. ''I don't know if it was just because it was Cleveland. I don't know. But we could do a lot better on both ends of the floor.''

Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez and Donald Sloan totaled 42 points and shot 53.8 percent, but the rest of the team hit 31.1 percent.

"It was definitely a step back tonight all around," Lopez told the team's official website.

The Nets have lost 12 of their last 13 at Barclays Center and are 7-16 there. They are scoring 94.7 points per game at home, tied for last in the NBA, and 95.3 overall for the second-worst mark.

Brooklyn has also dropped five in a row against Western Conference opponents.

Hayward has scored 63 points in the past two games and averaged 25.1 in his last seven. He's scored at least 22 points in three of his past four games against the Nets and had 24 in both victories last season.

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