SALT LAKE CITY — It's only two games into the season, but the Utah Jazz's frustration level is already reaching a peak.
The Jazz followed up a disappointing loss at Denver with a flat effort in their home opener in a 110-94 loss to Phoenix on Thursday night. Utah's aggravation in its second straight defeat showed up in its shooting percentage (42.9), turnovers (16) and low number of assists (19).
"We're definitely frustrated," said Jazz guard Raja Bell. "We need to figure out for us what intensity level will be successful — how we need to come into games and not be flat."
Utah's jumpers were mostly flat against the Suns, as the Jazz dug themselves a big hole by shooting 35.8 percent from the field in the first half. Utah trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half and had to play catch-up the rest of the way.
Bell said Utah's struggles aren't for a lack of effort — but perhaps from too much effort.
"We're trying to do too much," he said. "We're trying to make the extra pass, make the perfect play. Sometimes when you do that it's worse than if you just put it up there on the rim. I think we were trying too hard tonight."
The Jazz's frustration increased as Phoenix pulled away in the second half. Deron Williams yelled at rookie Gordon Hayward after the two miscommunicated on a possession midway through the fourth quarter, as Hayward wasn't where the All-star guard expected him to be.
"It was just miscommunication," Hayward said. "I should have cut through (the lane). It was just frustration."
Hayward said those type of issues will be fixed as he gets more pro experience.
"I think with time it will be fine," he said. "Just not playing with him, not knowing what he wants me to do (is the problem). Next time I'll get it done."
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said he was fine with Williams getting on Hayward..8 comments on this story
" I don't have a problem with it as long as there's no malicious intent," Sloan said. "Sometimes frustration sets in on everybody. You have that happen once in a while. You have to play through it. You can't play backwards, you have to continue to play forward. Those things happen."
The main cause for Utah's frustration may have been from its inability to slow down the high-powered Suns. Any time the Jazz rallied, the Suns answered as Steve Nash scored 18 points and Hakim Warrick scored 18 off the bench. Playing defense is the first problem the Jazz need to fix, according to Bell.
"We'll make shots," he said. "Defensively, we need to figure out how to make stops, clean the glass. The shots will come."