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SALT LAKE CITY — Stop me if you've heard this one before. The Jazz had a double-digit lead in the third quarter at home against the Clippers and ended up losing by one possession.
The parallels between the two Jazz losses to the Clippers are uncanny, but it is in the differences that the Jazz can pull a few rays of light.
In the first game the Jazz lost 105-104 with an interesting 3-point foul call for Chauncey Billups. This 116-114 loss ended with a non-call on a 3-pointer that a Jazz front office, who stormed onto the court, probably thought should have been called.
They seem very similar, but the team was sure they were two very different games.
"This is a separate incident," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We had a game out here before where they won at the end. Our guys played hard. We can't use one contest against another to say this is the same incident or we are in the same situation."
The first game the Jazz were without Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams, this game they were without their point guard Mo Williams. Both games saw Randy Foye play big against his former team.
Foye actually had a chance to win both games for the Jazz. The first game most probably remember the foul on Billups, but the Jazz came back. Foye hit a 3 with a second left, then stole the inbound pass, but didn't catch it clean to get a shot off.
This game Foye had the ball against Matt Barnes got him up in the air, drew contact and missed a 3-pointer. He ended the first game with 19 and the second with 28.
"I think that Randy was hot and we got the ball in his hands," said Gordon Hayward. "We asked him to make a play for us. They did a good job defensively and he didn't get a good look."
The first game the starters did most of the damage to get the lead and ended the first quarter up 12. This game it was the bench in the second that blew the lead open.
When the full second-unit came in at the first quarter break the Jazz were down 7 in this game. By the time the starters were coming back in with 4:01 left in the quarter, the Jazz had a 7-point lead.
Both games the Jazz were set up to win, but something changed from the second quarter to the half. The problem is knowing exactly what it is.
"Don't know, things just change you know," said Alec Burks. "We still gave ourselves a chance to win, just didn't happen."
Last game DeMarre Carroll added a big spark, playing in place of Marvin. This game Alec Burks gave the team a lift. The team was +17 when he was on the court. Which seems a far cry from the last Clippers game where Burks wasn't getting much more than garbage time minutes.
"I always trust him, I've never not trusted him," Corbin said. "It's just the way we rotate. He continued to work hard and waited for his opportunity. I like DeMarre also, but you can't play everybody."
Hayward played great in both games, ending with 17 in each. This game he tied a career-high in free throws made with 9.
"I don't think deja vu, every games different," Burks said. "You still got to play hard till the buzzer sounds."
It isn't a repeat, replay, do-over and there are no take-backsies in the NBA. The Jazz had both games and lost them. They play again on Sunday in L.A. and now they have to learn and grow from their mistakes. Because after all, as Edmund Burke has said, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."