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Gordon Hayward 'not proud' of Jazz's 111-110 loss to Miami

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz tied a franchise record by hitting 17 3-pointers in Thursday night’s game against the Miami Heat. Gordon Hayward had his second straight 30-point game. The team even shot a blistering 54.8 percent from the field.

On top of that, the Jazz had one of their best offensive outputs of the season with 110 points despite missing George Hill, Rodney Hood, Derrick Favors and Alec Burks because of injuries.

No offense, optimists, but Hayward wants none of your moral victory talk.

The Jazz small forward was disappointed that his team came up on the short end of this 111-110 outcome, a result that snapped Utah’s four-game winning streak.

“Well, we lost and I’m not proud of the way we lost,” Hayward said when asked if he was taking pride in the way the shorthanded Jazz played. “We have to be better no matter who’s out on the court.”

Being shorthanded really has been the theme of the first quarter of the Jazz’s season. The team used its 11th different starting lineup in 20 games Thursday night because of the absence of three usual starters.

“We pride ourselves on being a deep team,” Hayward said. “It sucks when guys go down. It’s just kind of been the story of the past couple of years for us.

“But we’ve got to find a way to win this basketball game if we want to be a playoff team, if we want to be the team we know we can be. Tonight we didn’t do that. It’s a frustrating game.”

The ending was particularly frustrating for Hayward.

After hitting a mid-range jumper with a minute remaining to move the Jazz to within one point of the Heat, who led by as many as 14 points, Hayward missed two go-ahead attempts.

The first was a 3-pointer with 29.9 seconds remaining.

Hayward forced Goran Dragic into a turnover with 4.9 seconds remaining, but the Jazz’s leading scorer then couldn’t connect on a game-winning pull-up shot with one second to go.

It was Hayward’s big night, with a season-high 32 points on 12-of-22 shooting, that helped give the Jazz a chance to win on a night when the team’s normally stingy defense was in a giving mood.

Defense, not Hayward’s misses or the controversial shot-clock incident, is what ultimately cost the Jazz a winnable game against a 6-12 Heat team that was missing a couple of its own players and had played the night before in Denver.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder said his team “lacked physicality critically in the first half,” which led to the team’s demise.

“We were soft at the beginning of the game. We didn’t deserve to win the game,” Snyder said. “Miami outplayed us. You can point to certain things, but by the time we woke up defensively it was late and we had to expend a lot of energy. You put yourself in a tough position.”

It certainly didn’t help that the Jazz allowed Dragic to go off for 27 points with six assists or that reserves James Johnson (24 points) and Wayne Ellington (17 points) hit 17 of 24 shots.

And it really was surprising that a Rudy Gobert-led Jazz defense allowed the Heat to shoot 51.2 percent and score 111 points. Utah leads the NBA in field-goal defense and gives up fewer points than any other team in the league.

“As a team, I think we can do a better job,” Gobert said.

“We just couldn’t get stops,” Jazz forward Joe Ingles added.

What went wrong?

“A lot of everything given up — layups, Ellington was hitting shots off of pindowns, off of pick-and-rolls,” Hayward said. “Just everything we’ve been doing defensively as far as executing our game plan we didn’t do tonight. You see what happens because of that. That’s got to be our calling card. It wasn’t tonight at all. We couldn’t get stops down the stretch.”

JAZZ NOTES: It's uncertain whether Rodney Hood (strained hamstring) and George Hill (sprained big toe) will be able to play for the Jazz on Saturday vs. Denver. Derrick Favors (bone bruise) and Alec Burks (ankle) are out. ... Utah, which has only 11 healthy players, did not practice Friday. ... Rudy Gobert became the first player since Andrei Kirilenko to record at least 50 blocks in the first 20 games of a season. ... The only other time the Jazz have hit 17 3-pointers was on March 23, 2016, when they beat the Lakers at home 123-75.

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