At halftime, he blasted them for their selfish play, but Harpring scored 17 points, including six in overtime, to lift the Utah Jazz past the Portland Trail Blazers 92-87 on Friday night to snap a six-game losing skid.
“We didn’t get it done in regulation but at least these guys fought back and I think that was good for them,” Sloan said. “Our big guys in the first half were very, very selfish. They didn’t look to pass the ball. That’s one of the most selfish performances I’ve ever seen in the first quarter.”
Attempting to tie the game in the final minute of overtime, Zach Randolph missed in the lane and Mehmet Okur stripped Shareef Abdur-Rahim after he grabbed the offensive rebound. Carlos Arroyo made one free throw and Harpring hit two to clinch the win in the last 18 seconds.
Carlos Boozer scored 17, Okur had 14 and Kirk Snyder recorded a career-high 13 points for the Jazz, who had lost three in a row at home and 10 of 12 overall.
“That was a team that lost six straight games so you know that they were going to come out and play hard,” Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. “All of Jerry Sloan’s teams play hard.
Zach Randolph led the Blazers with 23 points. Abdur-Rahim had 19 and Derek Anderson 15 for Portland, which has dropped three of its last four games.
With 1.3 seconds left in regulation and the game tied at 78, Randolph ran into Okur as he launched a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Randolph sprinted to the other end of the floor in disbelief after a foul was called, and Okur made all three free throws.
“Bad call,” Randolph said after the game. “I think we got a lot of bad calls toward the end.”
After a timeout, Damon Stoudemire received a pass in the corner and sank a 3-pointer as the horn sounded to send the game to overtime.
Snyder, a rookie who seldom played before the last three games, made an acrobatic bank shot to put Utah up 78-76 in the final minute of regulation, but Randolph tied it at the other end before committing the foul on Okur.
Snyder had a career-high 13 points and played down the stretch for one of the first times in his career.
“He didn’t play like a rookie at all. He played terrific and hit some big shots for us,” Boozer said.
The game was close throughout, with neither team taking more than a six-point advantage.
But the Jazz were able to get out in transition better than the Blazers, outscoring Portland 17-8 on fast break points.
“We didn’t get back on the defensive end and it enabled them to get out and run and get some easy baskets in transition,” Cheeks said. “That was the reason they won the game.”
The Jazz held their biggest lead in regulation 50-45 before Portland went on a 12-2 spurt, highlighted by three consecutive driving layups by Sebastian Telfair.
The Blazers have made a habit of last-second dramatics, losing three games this season on long-distance shots and winning on Abdur-Rahim’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer against Boston on Thursday.
With 8:51 left in the third quarter, Jarron Collins left with a sprained right knee and did not return. … The Jazz and Blazers play again in Portland on Sunday. … Utah allowed an average of 111 points in the six losses, and the Blazers became the first opponent in the last seven to finish below 100 points. … Telfair has established career highs in consecutive games after scoring just 15 the whole season before that. … Official Jack Nies, who made the call against Randolph at the end of regulation, got in a shouting match with Blazers play-by-play announcer Brian Wheeler during the ensuing timeout.