Monday, March 28, 2011 11:35 p.m.
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By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comSalt Lake City---This is not your fathers or even Jerry Sloans Utah Jazz anymore, but that didnt reduce the challenge. Playing the second of back-to-back games in a building where they have not won in five years, the Wizards stunned the Jazz with a 100-95 overtime victory.With 28 points, including 24 in the first half, John Wall led the Wizards to their second road win of the season. Jordan Crawford added 25 points and JaVale McGee completed his fourth consecutive double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds.The win not only prevented a 0-5 road trip, but also eliminated any chance of the Wizards matching the 199091 Sacramento Kings (1-40) for fewest road wins in a season. For the Jazz, who were led in scoring by C.J. Miles with 17 points, it was their sixth straight loss.It was almost the cruelest of endings for the Wizards who led for most of the game. Sparked by rookies Derrick Favors (Georgia Tech), Gordon Hayward (Butler), and Jeremy Evans (Western Kentucky) , the Jazz went on a 14-3 run to erase a 10-point deficit and take an 84-83 lead with 45 seconds left in regulation.The Wizards were reeling. Short-handed again with Nick Young and Trevor Booker still injured, the Wizards only managed 12 points in the fourth quarter. Crawford scored 8 of those points including a 12-foot jumper from the baseline with 4.4 seconds on the clock to force overtime.Crawford then jump-started the Wizards in overtime with consecutive steals that led to four points and an 89-85 lead. Maurice Evans gave the Wizards breathing room with a three-pointer from the corner to extend their lead to 92-85 with 3:18 to go in the extra session.It was an offensive rebound by Othyus Jeffers that led to Evans critical three-pointer. On his second ten-day contract with the Wizards, Jeffers provided the necessary jolt of energy to spur a tired team. In the fourth quarter and overtime, Jeffers had 5 offensive rebounds. In the final 35 seconds of overtime Wall went 4 of 6 from the free throw line to limit a late surge by the Jazz. It was Walls first points since the first half when he had little trouble going at Earl Watson and the Jazz man-to-man defense.We controlled tempo for most of the game, said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. John (Wall) destroyed them when they went man-to-man. They went to zone and we lost some of our aggressiveness. They got themselves back in the game. But we were able to have some of our big guys make some big plays.The Jazz are still in playoff contention, but they are clearly struggling in the aftermath of Sloans retirement as head coach and the trade of Deron Williams. Devin Harris missed a fourth consecutive game with a hamstring injury, while Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur are also sidelined by injuries.Al Jefferson had 15 points and 16 rebounds, but did not play in the fourth quarter or overtime. Jazz head coach Tryone Corbin elected to stick with the younger lineup that triggered their fourth quarter rally.The Wizards only bad game on their western journey was the trips opener in Portland. They pushed the Clippers to overtime and against the Nuggets and Warriors just could not find a way to score enough points.
This time, a result to match the resilience.