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Jazz fight off Pistons, rally around Al Jefferson

Published March 13, 2012 7:44 am
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Official postgame quotes and notes following the Jazz's 105-90 victory against Detroit on Monday.Notes: The Utah Jazz is 52-32 all-time against the Pistons with a 32-10 record at home … The Jazz moves to 15-5 overall and 13-2 at home when leading at halftime … Tonight was the third time the Jazz have shot 60+ percent in a half this season (.615 vs. CLE 1/10) … The Jazz is 9-0 when shooting over 50+ percent … Al Jefferson connected on his first career 3-pointer tonight, ending the game with his 19th double-double of the season (33 points, 12 rebounds) … The Jazz had a season-high three-point shooting percentage .636 (7 for 11) … Paul Millsap recorded his 12th double-double this season (12 points, 10 rebounds), recorded a season-high five steals and tied a season-high with five assists.

Tyrone Corbin – Head Coach (20-21 this season)On Al Jefferson"Just extremely proud of him. You know how tough it is to come out, you know his emotions had to be pretty high. For him to come out and perform, he was 14 for 18 from the field. He did a great job on the defensive end he was aggressive he got his rebounds in. And then the three at the end just capped it off. I am just so happy he was able to get away for a little while and do what he do and come out and play the game. We will just continue to support him."

On the game"The first game back home is usually difficult to get yourself going. You think you can show up and it's just going to happen and you play a little sluggish, which we did in the first half but fortunately we were able to keep it close. I think we had a two or three point lead at halftime even though we didn't play our best basketball. In the fourth quarter is when we really needed it. I thought the guys did a great job of just cranking the defense up."

Al Jefferson – Center (33 points, 12 rebounds)On the death of his grandmother"It's emotional of course, but I'll get through it…we needed this win more than anything and it was just good to go out there and get it. I know that she didn't want me to not play, and I know she wanted me to go out and play and do my job, and that is what I did.

On his three-pointer at the end of the game"That was a lucky shot. I'm not going to shoot no more and mess up my percentage, I'm 1-for-(23) for my career and I'm going to keep it at that. Honestly, when I hit that shot, I just thought that is was one of those nights for me. Everything was just going well for me, I was hitting shots. My grandmother is with me all of the time, she made me the man I am today, she was with me when I made mistakes, and with me when I did great. I know she's resting. It's thought to go through, but it's a part of life, and you must goon."

On the team's play in the fourth quarter"We needed the win. We struggled a little bit, but the good thing about it is that when we needed it, we got stops to win the game. And we did in the fourth quarter. When we tried to get stops, we played team defense, and we got stops and it turned our offense on, and we made shots on the other end."

Devin Harris – Guard (19 points, 8 assists)On how confident the team is making three-pointers"We work on it every day. We have some issues, and we don't shoot a whole lot of them, but when we do, sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't. We'll continue to shoot them though, especially with the way they have been doubling down in the post, we're going to get some open looks and it's going to be a point that we knock them down."

On the defensive in the fourth quarter"We kind of struggled with the defense all game long, but the fourth quarter was important for us to get some stops and really buckle down, and we did that.

On the play of Al Jefferson"He was huge. Obviously we know that a lot is weighing on his heart with the things he has going on at home, but he gave us a good effort and came out and played like Al Jefferson.Lawrence Frank – Head Coach (15-27 this season)On the Jazz pulling away in the fourth quarter"Yeah, well you look at our inability to get stops, overall 30 points in the fourth quarter… our pick and roll defense let us down. You look at the stats sheet, oh Al Jefferson had 34, but he only had six points in true post-ups."

On being unable to stop the Jazz offense"In the first half they shoot 60 percent. I don't think we ever got them under 50 percent and so we were trading buckets for a little bit. But we could never get a true game-plan defensively...We wanted to live with the no paint, they were the worst three-point shooting team in the league."

Greg Monroe – Center (14 points, 5 rebounds)On the fourth quarter"In the last two minutes, they turned it up. They hit some tough shots at the end of the shot clock. We just weren't executing on the offensive end coming down the stretch."

On Al Jefferson's big night"He's been playing well all year. He's a tough cover for anybody. He's getting to his spots. He also made a lot of tough moves. That's what he does. We have to find a way to limit him. But one player doesn't win a game for you."

Rodney Stuckey – Guard (29 points, 7 assists)On the loss to the Jazz"Down the stretch they made some crucial shots. They made probably three or four three-pointers with five seconds or less (left on the shot clock) that really hurt us. Give them credit. They executed down the finish and we lost."

On Utah's three-pointers late in the shot clock"We knew coming into this game that we had to protect the paint. We knew they weren't really shooting the ball from the three-point line really well. Guess when you're on your home court you get lucky. Tonight, that's what it was."

The Salt Lake Tribune

Twitter: @tribjazz




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