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Jazz notes: Team hopes to build big leads — and keep them

Memphis Grizzlies forward Lance Stephenson, center left, drives against Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 4, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Memphis Grizzlies forward Lance Stephenson, center left, drives against Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 4, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — Now that the Utah Jazz are back home — for a night at least — they hope to leave one disturbing trend in the rear-view mirror.

In each of its four road games last week, Utah led by double digits before seeing those leads evaporate in Boston, Toronto, Memphis and New Orleans.

The Jazz were only able to recover from their breakdown in the final outing, a 106-94 win over the Pelicans on Saturday night. Utah never allowed New Orleans to take the lead, going on a 14-0 run after Anthony Davis tied it at 70-all with a 3-pointer.

“It’s certainly something we’re aware of,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “When we get some guys clicking, coming off the bench, making some shots, making some plays and playing defense, that’s obviously really important.” The bench played very well — particularly forwards Trevor Booker and Joe Ingles — in Saturday’s win after a rough outing in Friday’s loss at Memphis.

Snyder said getting consistency from the reserves is a key factor to the Jazz’s success. It puts too much of a strain on the starters if their leads dwindle each and every night.

“Keep working at it,” he said when asked how to obtain that. “Guys have got to step up. That’s where we are as a team. It happens.”

CHANGING ROTATIONS: Snyder noted how interesting it is that the Jazz used to have a hard time beginning games earlier in the season. Now that that problem has mostly been solved, keeping the leads and finishing games are the issues.

“One of the things we’re trying to do,” he added, “is just be very conscious of rotations and substitution patterns to try to give guys the best opportunity to succeed with certain combinations.”

The rotations keep changing because of injuries and, most recently, due to the addition of starting point guard Shelvin Mack. On Saturday, he brought Ingles and Booker off the bench early. Other times, it’s Raul Neto who’s first to sub in.

It’s situational, Snyder explained.

The biggest factors to finding continual success, he added, revolve around three areas of play: limiting turnovers, playing solid transition defense and matching opponents’ physicality when it’s increased.

STILL SIDELINED: It’s been about nine weeks since Alec Burks underwent surgery to repair his broken fibula, but there still has not been a definitive date set for his return. He hasn't started practicing yet, either.

Snyder said he’s done trying to predict comebacks from injuries.

“Hopefully in the next week or two would be my hope,” the coach said. “He’s doing more and more.”

The Jazz medical staff is taking a cautious approach to the recovery and rehab of Burks and Dante Exum.

“You see guys come back from injury and get hurt again,” Snyder said. “It happened this summer with Dante. He came back from his ankle and hurts his knee. … It’s such a complicated thing. Our medical staff is very aware of it. I’d rather err on the side of conservatism.”

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