Now that the Lakers have lost yet again following their devastating defeat in Utah on Friday, it’s time to explore this NBA mystery: Have the Jazz put a comeback curse on their seven victims?
We already know what happened to the combined lead of 128 points held by the Clippers (18+10), Heat (22), Magic (18), Hawks (11), Bobcats (19), Trail Blazers (11) and Lakers (19).
So, what happened to those teams after their double-digit advantages were eviscerated and turned into just another notch in the Jazz’s rally belt?
Did the teams bounce back and brush it off like it was no big deal? Or, did more devastation ensue for the cursed clubs?
The quick answer: *@#!. Oops, wrong curse, sorry. But, yes, the dreaded Jazz Jilt or Comeback Curse exists – almost without a doubt when you look at the teams’ records coming in and out of their ego-bruising bouts with Utah.
A glance at the seven teams’ schedules provides some interesting insight. Consider the following:
The seven teams’ records before losing to the Jazz: 41-24*
The seven teams’ records after losing to the Jazz: 23-28
The previous game: 5-2
The following game: 2-5 (both wins came vs. Minnesota, it should be noted)
The Magic, Bobcats, Blazers and Lakers all came into their games against Utah with multiple wins in a row, while the Heat had won 5 of 6 previous contests.
The Clippers (after Round 1), Blazers and Lakers followed their losses to Utah with multiple setbacks in a row.
The Clippers and Bobcats are the only teams whose winning percentages have increased since their botched leads. But both had losing records before and after, so that’s not saying much.
Take a look at each team:
Los Angeles Clippers
At Jazz: 109-107 2OT loss – blew 18-point lead
Next: Loss vs. New Orleans
After: 2-9 (seven straight losses)
*Clippers haven’t played since Round 2 loss (109-97: blew a 10-point lead), so we’re only counting Round 1.
Vs. Jazz: 116-114 OT loss – blew 22-point lead
Next: L vs. Boston
Vs. Jazz: 104-94 loss – blew 18-point lead
Next: L vs. Toronto
Vs. Jazz: 90-86 loss – blew 11-point lead
Next: W vs. Minnesota
Vs. Jazz: 96-95 loss – blew 19-point lead
Next: W vs. Minnesota
Portland Trail Blazers
Vs. Jazz: 103-94 loss – blew 11-point lead
Next: L vs. New Orleans
Los Angeles Lakers
At Jazz: 102-96 loss – blew 19-point lead
Next: L vs. Indiana
Worse from curse: Heat, Blazers, Lakers
Similar struggles: Clippers, Bobcats
Basically bounced back: Magic, Hawks