The Jazz had losing records their first nine seasons after entering the league in 1974, and before last season’s 26-56 record, did not finished below .500 since going 30-52 in the 1982-83 season.
Utah is back home after consecutive road losses at Dallas and San Antonio, including a 115-82 rout Monday by the Spurs. The Jazz were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for a third straight season after Sunday’s 111-95 defeat to the Mavericks.
“They got about everything they wanted (Monday),” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said of the Spurs. “They were playing in such a comfort zone that we couldn’t even begin to shut them down.”
The Jazz have allowed an average of 110.0 points in their last three games after a six-game stretch in which they limited opponents to 89.7 points per game and went 5-1.
Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko is doubtful for this game after missing Monday’s loss due to back spasms.
Warriors vice president Chris Mullin confirmed Mike Montgomery will return as coach for a third straight season in 2006-07. Montgomery, who signed a four-year, $10 million contract in 2004, needs a win in this game to surpass his win total from the 2004-05 season.
“Mike is learning a lot still,” Mullin said. “That’s to be expected. To me, the last 3-4 weeks, how the team has played in a tough stretch, they’ve shown a lot of professionalism in this last stretch here.”
Golden State, which was unable to sustain the momentum of a 12-6 start and will miss the playoffs for the 12th consecutive season, secured a winning home record Monday with a 93-79 victory over Portland. Mike Dunleavy scored 20 points and Ike Diogu added 16 for the Warriors, who have a four-game winning streak.
“It’s time to get this thing over,” Montgomery said of the season afterward. “We have to re-evaluate and see where we go from here. We have a lot of young players and they need time to develop.”
Warriors point guard Baron Davis will not play due to an ankle injury, the 27th game he will miss due to injury and 28th overall. Davis averaged 17.9 points and 8.9 assists in 54 games this season.
Swingman and leading scorer Jason Richardson scored a season-low three points in 23 minutes after missing the previous game due to a knee injury.