Korver home and jazzed up in Utah

Utah Jazz guard Kyle Korver trying to block San Antonio Spurs forward Chimezie Metu from advancing during the second half of the National Basketball Association game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Tuesday. The Jazz won 139-105.
Utah Jazz guard Kyle Korver trying to block San Antonio Spurs forward Chimezie Metu from advancing during the second half of the National Basketball Association game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Tuesday. The Jazz won 139-105.PHOTO: REUTERS

His arrival gives the Jazz 3 wins in 4 games, as they hit record 20 treys in victory over Spurs

SALT LAKE CITY • Kyle Korver admitted that he is having more fun since leaving the troubled Cleveland Cavaliers for the Utah Jazz.

Cleveland, last season's National Basketball Association (NBA) finalists, have been in free fall since the departure of LeBron James for the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer, dropping to 5-18.

With the franchise seemingly more focused on rebuilding with an eye on next year's draft lottery than making the play-offs, Korver was traded to the Jazz for Alec Burks and two future second-round picks last week.

According to sports website The Athletic, his trade reportedly upset the Cavaliers' locker room given their lack of depth and his reputation as one of the best shooters in the league.

But their loss was the Jazz's gain, with Korver returning on Tuesday to his old stomping ground at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, where he played from 2007 to 2010.

The guard, who is fourth on the all-time list for three-pointers scored at 2,243, made his second homecoming in front of the Jazz fans, having played their two previous games on the road.

He impressed by coming off the bench to score 15 points, including three of four attempts from deep.

SHOWERED WITH PRAISE

That has never happened to me in my entire life... I've never had Gatorade dumped on my head but I'm glad it was tonight. It was a great first time back... you could feel the excitement.

KYLE KORVER, Utah Jazz guard, after being showered with Gatorade following the win by his thrilled teammates, who also hailed his impact since he joined last week.

Utah (12-13) fed off his dead-eyed accuracy as they made a franchise record of 20 three-pointers in a 139-105 NBA victory over the visiting San Antonio Spurs (11-13) - their third win in four games since acquiring him.

Donovan Mitchell paced the home team with 20 points - including four from long range - and he was one of 10 Jazz players to torch the Spurs from beyond the arc.

Afterwards, the guard, who finished runner-up in last season's Rookie of the Year honours, hailed Korver's confidence as "contagious" and said his arrival had given the team a lift.

"His presence gives us spacing and helps everybody," the 22-year-old Mitchell said.

Korver's teammates were so thrilled with his impact that they gave him a post-game Gatorade shower, which the 37-year-old said was the first time he had experienced the celebratory gesture despite his veteran status.

"That has never happened to me in my entire life... I've never had Gatorade dumped on my head but I'm glad it was tonight," he told NBA.com.

And he told news website Deseret News that it had been a "fun moment" for him to play on the Jazz's court again, saying: "It was a great first time back... you could feel the excitement.

"I thought our team played really good basketball. The ball was moving and we were playing for each other. Good defence, a lot of threes. Twenty threes tonight. It was a good night all around.

"It's very different from what I've played the last couple of years. This is definitely a different way, but I like it. I feel like I'm wired for a lot of the stuff they're doing."

He also touched on the differences between playing for the Cavaliers and the Jazz, telling the Salt Lake Tribune: "It's a whole different style of play, a lot more passing, cutting, reads, movement, energy. It's a lot of fun for me."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2018, with the headline 'Korver home and jazzed up in Utah'. Print Edition | Subscribe