SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz are down, but they’re not out — yet.
The Jazz will try to avoid a 4-game sweep tonight when they host the Houston Rockets and begin an unprecedented 3-0 series comeback. While the team knows the odds are stacked against them, they’re not about to wave the white flag.
“That’s the make up of this team,” said Jazz guard Kyle Korver. “We’ve got high character guys, guys that work. We’ve got to find the positives. The season is not over. Obviously, you don’t want to be down 0-3. History is not on our side.”
“It’s not something that we thought or planned, but it’s obviously reality right now where we’re down 3-0,” said Joe Ingles. “Again, we’ve got tonight to win this game and move on from there.”
It will be interesting to see how Donovan Mitchell reacts after missing a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds in Game 3. His teammates have full confidence he’ll bounce back and be aggressive in Game 4.
“Ten times out of ten, I’d want him to take that shot again,” said guard Royce O’Neale. “He just happened to miss it. Being young, he’s one of the leaders on this team, so we’ve got to encourage him to bring the energy.”
“He’s such a great kid,” Ingles added. “Obviously it hurt him at the time and probably still does now, but he’s so important to our team, and we need him to refocus.”
The Jazz as a team have missed too many open shots. They made 36 percent of their 3-pointers during the regular season, but in this series, they’re shooting just 25 percent from beyond the arc.
“We’re not going to stop taking them,” Ingles said. “We take good shots as a team. We don’t take bad shots, we never have, really.”
“Shooting is contagious,” said Korver. “When there’s been some misses in a row, each one feels a little bit bigger. Having said that, if we don’t shoot well, we have trouble scoring.”
As for containing James Harden, it wasn’t just a coincidence that he missed his first 15 shots in Game 3 and finished 3 for 20 from the field. The Jazz defense may have found the key in slowing him down.
“There’s a reason he missed shots,” said Rudy Gobert, who had 7 blocked shots. “It’s not just about looking at the numbers and say, oh, he missed 15 shots. We did a good job as a team containing him, and we’ve got to come out ready tonight.”
If not, the Jazz season will be over tonight.