Blowout Losses Have Ended Jazz Win Streaks Before
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz saw their 11-game win streak come to a crashing halt Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. Though the final score wasn’t indicative of the blowout, the Jazz trailed by as much as 27 in the eventual 128-117 loss.
The loss was particularly painful in the first when Nuggets center Nikola Jokic scored 33 of his career-high-tying 47 points, as the Nuggets connected on a staggering 15-17 three-point attempts.
But, Jazz fans can breathe a sigh of relief, it’s not the first time the Jazz have seen an 11-game win streak come to an end with a blowout loss, and it doesn’t mean this Jazz team is doomed.
Jazz 85 – 111 Hornets: March 18, 1998
In 1998, the red-hot Jazz rolled into Charlotte riding an 11-game win streak, only to get crushed by the playoff-bound Hornets 111-85.
Four scorers finished in double-figures for the Jazz, led by Karl Malone who had 17 points but were outdueled by Glen Rice’s 26 points on 11-15 shooting.
The Jazz would go on to win 14 of their final 17 games of the season before making their second and final run to the NBA Finals that postseason.
Jazz 69 – 83 Spurs: April 20, 1999
Coming off consecutive Finals appearances and with Michael Jordan out of the league, a late-season 11-game win streak had Jazz fans feeling that this might finally be the season the team would break through and bring a championship to Utah.
Instead, the win streak was ended by Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in embarrassing fashion when the team managed to score just 69 points in the loss.
Duncan had 36 points in the win, while only Karl Malone and Jeff Hornacek were able to score in double-figures. The loss however may have been the final gasp of the championship hopeful Jazz.
Including the loss to the Spurs, the Jazz finished 5-5 to close the season after a 32-8 start and were eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Semi-Finals in six games, ending their domination of the West
Jazz 81 – 100 Blazers: February 23, 2018
After starting the season 19-28, despite the breakout performance from rookie guard Donovan Mitchell, it appeared the Jazz were headed towards another lottery-bound offseason.
However, an 11-game win streak propelled the Jazz in the Western Conference playoff picture carried by Michell’s 21.3 point, 4.0 rebound, and 3.9 assist average during the run.
That streak ended at the hands of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and the Trail Blazers in a 100-81 loss, but foretold of the Jazz bright future.
The Jazz would finish the season winning 18 of their final 23 games en route to an opening series upset win over the Oklahoma City Thunder before falling to the Houston Rockets in five games in the Western Conference semi-finals.
The team hasn’t missed the playoff since, and it was that 11-game win streak that righted the ship for the Jazz recent string of success.
A Streak Ender Of A Different Kind
Thanks to 20 years under the tutelage of John Stockton and 19 years with Karl Malone, the Jazz had enjoyed two-straight decades of trips to the postseason.
After Stockton retired and Malone signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in hopes of winning a championship ring, the Jazz appeared doomed to a miserable rebuild and no hopes of competing for a playoff spot.
Instead, Andrei Kirilenko, Matt Harpring, and a scrappy roster carried the Jazz to one of the most enjoyable seasons in franchise history, keeping the playoff hopes alive through 80 of the team’s 82 games.
It wasn’t until game 81 that the Jazz were officially eliminated from playoff contention by the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves 104-90 that the team’s 20-year postseason streak would come to an end.
Though the team quickly rebuilt itself around Kirilenko, and future All-Stars Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, and Deron Williams, then 2003-04 Jazz provided new hope for a fanbase that had found itself in need of a revamped identity.
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