SALT LAKE CITY — Before joining his team on a four-game road trip into the Eastern Conference, Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he wanted to see his guys pick up the pace a little bit.
He wanted to see them play with the same intensity from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
“We’ve got to understand a little bit more about a sense of urgency,” he said.
Corbin referenced a Nov. 5 game at Memphis where the Jazz jumped out to a 12-point lead in the first quarter and lamented the fact his players seemed to let up after that.
The Grizzlies eventually won the game 103-94, leaving the Jazz winless on the road.
“(We need to) make it a 48-minute game, especially on the road,” he said.
Oddly enough, it took the Jazz well over 48 minutes to get there, but they finally broke through with their first road victory over the season Monday night in Toronto. In a triple-overtime effort, Utah earned a 140-133 win, beating the Raptors for the seventh consecutive time at the Air Canada Centre.
The Jazz will continue their road trip tonight, facing the Boston Celtics beginning at 5:30 p.m. (MST).
Even though the Jazz picked up their first road win of the season on Monday, it was hardly a wire-to-wire affair. In fact, they trailed throughout the game and even faced an 11-point deficit with seven minutes left in regulation.
But Al Jefferson sent the game into overtime when he hit an improbable 3-pointer with two seconds remaining.
Fifteen minutes later, the Jazz (4-4) came away with the win.
The Jazz are now 3-0 at home, 1-4 on the road.
“We can’t afford to have the lulls, especially on the road because we don’t have our crowd and all the other things that pick us up we do at home,” Corbin said. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t have the lulls and when we have a run, extend the run as long as we can and count on our defense to carry us through.”
The Jazz didn’t do those things on Monday, but still managed to fight through against the struggling Raptors.
“I can’t say enough about how our team hung in there and we kept fighting,” Corbin said. “We understood the importance of trying to get out of this slide and get the road win and it took us long enough tonight and we finally got it going.”
The Jazz were fortunate to have a day of rest Tuesday after playing more than three hours.
Point guard Mo Williams played 50 minutes against the Raptors, while Jefferson went 48 minutes and forward Derrick Favors played 44 off the bench.
Corbin used just nine players in the game while keeping Alec Burks, DeMarre Carroll, Jeremy Evans and rookie Kevin Murphy on the bench.
Murphy has appeared in just two games for the Jazz this season, logging a total of 2:30 seconds.
The Jazz are a deep team, especially at the wing position, where Murphy plays.
“It’s a hard process coming from being ‘the guy’ in college to coming here and sitting on the bench,” he said. “It’s hard, but it’s what I want. It just makes me work harder.”