What figures to be a very tired Utah Jazz team will resume a key three-game road trip in the Garden State against the New Jersey Nets.
The Jazz are in the midst of a four games in five nights stretch, made even tougher after the club fell in one of the longest games in NBA history on Sunday.
Joe Johnson scored eight of his 37 points in the fourth overtime Sunday and the Hawks finally finished off Utah, 139-133, to end a brutal late-season stretch that surely outlasted its welcome. Josh Smith added 22 points before fouling out and Jeff Teague scored 18 in Atlanta's first four-overtime game since 1982.
Al Jefferson had 28 points and 17 rebounds and Paul Millsap scored 25 with 13 boards to lead the Jazz, even though both fouled out in Utah's first-ever four OT game.
The contest was tied for the third longest game in NBA history and was the lengthiest in 15 years, since Phoenix and Portland went four overtimes on Nov. 14, 1997.
Both teams missed chances to win in regulation, then again and again and again at the end of the first three overtime periods until Atlanta, behind Johnson, finally took control for good.
"A tough loss," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "The guys showed a lot of character, especially in the second half to fight back. We had opportunities to win it, we just didn't make the timely shots."
Utah, which is just 7-17 as the visitor this season, is now deadlocked with both Houston and Denver for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference with Phoenix lurking just a game back.
The Nets, meanwhile, are playing out the string and managed to halt a five- game skid with a 102-89 win over Charlotte on Saturday. Kris Humphries had 20 points and 16 rebounds in that one as New Jersey pulled away in the second half to down the Bobcats at Prudential Center.
Deron Williams added 19 points and 14 assists for the Nets, who finished off a four-game season sweep of Charlotte. Shelden Williams contributed 10 points and 11 boards.
"Our offense was kind of flowing today and we got it done on the defensive side as well," Deron Williams said.
Utah has won five of its past six over New Jersey, including a 107-94 triumph in Salt Lake City back on Jan. 14.