It was plain to see the frustration on their faces after Saturday’s Game 3 loss to the Spurs, but perhaps nothing left the Jazz wringing their hands more than the following statistic: 53.8 percent.
That was Utah’s free throw shooting number following its 102-90 loss to the Spurs, who now own a 3-0 series lead.
The Jazz missed 12 freebies and sure enough, they lost by 12.
“We talked about it a little bit afterwards, I mean, it’s free throws,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “It’s a tight ballgame, we’re down two at halftime and I think we missed (eight in the first half). You’re up five or six points if you make your free throws in that situation. Twelve (missed free throws for the game) and it’s a 12 point game. You at least tie the game. Free throws change the dynamic of the game.”
The Jazz went to the line 26 times in Game 3, but made only 14 shots.
The Spurs, meanwhile, went 17-for-22 from the field.
As a team, Utah shot 75.4 percent from the free throw line during the regular season. They played well enough to win the game Saturday, but those missed free throws haunted them.
“We’ve got to do a better job of making free throws, myself included” point guard Devin Harris said. “Those are free points that we need, especially in this type of game. Free throws and field goal percentage, those are things that we need to increase at a high rate.”