Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/17/12
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards fell to 0-8 for the second straight season as Al Jefferson tallied 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Utah Jazz pulled away in the fourth quarter for an 83-76 win on Saturday night. Washington, the NBA's only winless team, opened the game with a 15-2 run, but ultimately succumbed to suspect shooting and Utah's interior weapons. The loss tied the franchise record for worst start to a season. Ahead 69-67 early in the final quarter of a back-and-forth game, Derrick Favors' bank shot triggered a decisive 11-2 run for Utah (5-6) and Paul Millsap's running jumper extended the lead to 80-69 with 2:23 remaining. Held to four points at halftime, Jefferson's low-post moves dominated the third quarter as Utah's burly center knocked down 8 of 12 shots for 17 points. Utah, 1-6 on the road entering the nation's capital, held Washington to 13 points in the fourth quarter and 36.5 percent (31 of 85) overall from the field and finished with a 60-44 rebounding advantage. Gordon Heyward added 15 points. Making his first start of the season, Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 20 points and Trevor Ariza had 16, all in the first half. Early in the third, Crawford's driving 3-point play started the Wizards on a 10-2 run and A.J. Price scored three straight baskets, including a pair of 3-pointers, as Washington led 53-43. Jefferson sparked Utah's subsequent rally, scoring eight of the Jazz's final 12 points in the quarter, and Utah led 65-63. Both teams altered their starting lineups, though only the Wizards benefited initially, jumping out to the 13-point lead behind seven early points from Ariza. Forward Jan Vesely and Crawford made their first starts for the Wizards while Favors and Randy Foye, who replaced Hayward, did the same for Utah. Playing on consecutive nights and completing a four-game road swing, the Jazz missed their opening nine shots from the field before closing the clank-filled first quarter on a 13-2 run. The teams combined to shoot 12 of 40 (30 percent) during the first period, with Washington maintaining a 17-15 lead. Crawford replaced guard Bradley Beal, the Wizards' first-round pick and the third overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, in the starting lineup. Washington's leading scorer entering Saturday's matchup, Beal shot 4 of 25 (16 percent) over his previous two games but started with three straight makes on aggressive drives against Utah. He would miss his final three attempts and finish with six points. NOTES: Shaun Livingston, signed as a free agent by the Wizards on Wednesday, played 16 minutes and scored four points in his first game this season ... Washington forward Nene (plantar fasciitis) participated in practice on Thursday for the first time this season ... Utah returns home to face Houston on Monday, the same day Washington hosts Indiana.
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