UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Losing Streak Hits 12, Third-Longest In Team History

Apr 7, 2024, 10:35 PM

Keyonte George #3 of the Utah Jazz drives towards the basket on Chris Paul #3 of the Golden State W...

Keyonte George #3 of the Utah Jazz drives towards the basket on Chris Paul #3 of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz losing streak reached 12 games with their 118-110 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.

It’s the third-longest losing streak in Jazz history, trailing only the 1979-80 roster that lost 14 straight, and the 1981-82 that lost 18 in a row.

The Jazz were led by Johnny Juzang who scored a career-high 27 points in the loss, while Klay Thompson led all scorers with 32.

Related: Recapping Jazz Loss To Warriors

Losing Streak Matches Darkest Era For Jazz

While it’s no secret that the Jazz are purposely losing games to improve their draft odds, it doesn’t make their current streak any more palatable.

With Sunday’s loss, the Jazz are now 3-23 since the trade deadline, matching the worst 26-game stretch in franchise history.

The Jazz last reached these lows during the 1974-75 season when the franchise debuted with a 3-34 record in its first 37 games.

“Losing is not fun, it takes a toll on everybody,” Jazz coach Will Hardy admitted. “We understand there’s a lot of work to be done, our players understand there’s a lot of work to be done.”

The Jazz showed heart against Golden State, trimming the Warriors 23 point lead to as few as eight, but ultimately they ran out of time to complete the comeback.

Keyonte George had his best outing in nearly a month scoring 25 points on 8-16 shooting.

It was a promising bounce-back for the rookies after George, Taylor Hendricks, and Brice Sensabaugh were benched in Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Hendricks shot the ball well against the Warriors recording 10 points on 3-6 shooting from downtown. Sensabaugh added nine points on 4-7 shooting after Friday’s disappointing showing.

“It’s my job and our staff’s job to tell them the truth, to tell them the parts that are unacceptable, to tell them the parts that have to be cleaned up immediately,” Hardy said. “But also to love them and tell them the parts they’re doing well.”

Juzang Likely Earned Himself Another Contract

With his two-way contract Jazz set to expire this summer, Johnny Juzang’s professional career was about to hit a crossroads.

Was the 23-year-old an NBA player, or was he better suited to take his game overseas to maximize his playing time, but lower his earning potential?

After Sunday’s breakout 27-point outing, teamed with a handful of promising showings in recent weeks, the question may not be whether he belongs in the NBA, but how many teams across the league inquire about his services when free agency opens in July.

“I’m very proud of the work that Johnny’s done,” Hardy said. “He hasn’t gotten a ton of credit to last two years because he hasn’t gotten as much time with us as maybe he’s wanted, but he’s stayed ready.”

Related: Johnny Juzang Goes Off Against Warriors

Juzang knocked down 7-8 three-point attempts against the Warriors, besting his previous career-high of 19 points before halftime.

“We’ve tried to help Johnny transition into a little bit more of a shooter mindset,” Hardy said of Juzang’s evolution in the NBA. “He moves around off the ball lot, hunting threes, and then the threat of the three sets of everything else.”

Since entering the rotation on March 4, Juzang is averaging 8.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 42 percent from three.

The wing will be a restricted free agent this summer, allowing the Jazz to match any offer from opposing teams in the offseason.

Utah Jazz Standings Watch

With their loss to the Warriors, teamed with the Brooklyn Nets loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, the Jazz continued to hold onto the eighth-worst record in the NBA with the two teams separated by 1.5 games in the standings.

The Jazz can guarantee themselves no worse than the eighth-best odds of winning the draft lottery as long as they lose three of their final four games left in the regular season.

Related: What Happens If Jazz Win The Draft Lottery?

There is an outside chance that the Jazz could finish the season with the seventh-best odds of winning the draft lottery with some help from the Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis and the Jazz are currently separated by 2.0 games, meaning if the Grizzles were to win two or more of their final four contests, they could tie, or overtake the Jazz in the standings, provided the Jazz go winless to close the year.

Here’s a look at the close to the season for the Jazz, Nets, and Grizzlies.

Jazz Remaining Schedule

vs. Denver Nuggets
vs. Houston Rockets
@ Los Angeles Clippers
@ Golden State Warriors

Nets Remaining Schedule

vs. Toronto Raptors
@ New York Knicks
@ Philadelphia 76ers

Grizzlies Remaining Schedule

vs. San Antonio Spurs
@ Cleveland Cavaliers
vs. Los Angeles Lakers
vs. Denver Nuggets

Utah Jazz Next Game

The Jazz will face the Nuggets on Tuesday at 7 pm MST in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Jazz Losing Streak Hits 12, Third-Longest In Team History