Utah Jazz: Yet another bad East team feasts on the Jazz

Published: Saturday, Jan. 22 2011 8:00 p.m. MST

Don't look now, but the road journey continues for the Jazz on Tuesday in Los Angeles against the Lakers. And they follow that with a Wednesday night home game against San Antonio.

(Double gulp.)

"We're struggling," Sloan admitted. "We just have to see what we're made out of and see how we fight back out of it, or we look for other excuses somewhere else."

What's weird about this one — well, one of many weird things, actually — is the Jazz's big three had strong outings from a statistical standpoint.

Williams bounced back from his five-point game in Beantown with 20 points and 14 assists. Al Jefferson improved his aim considerably — going 8-for-19 from the field after a rough 1-for-11 showing — en route to 19 points and 13 rebounds.

And Paul Millsap had his best performance in a while with 18 points and 12 boards.

But, aside from Kirilenko's 12 points off the bench, the Jazz got little additional help. Hayward, Bell, C.J. Miles, Mehmet Okur and Earl Watson (scoreless) combined to score 16 points.

They were all outdone by one Sixer sub: Lou Williams, who had an energetic 20 points.

Additionally, Andre Iguodala scored 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting and Elton Brand had 19 points to help the Sixers snap a six-game losing streak against the Jazz.

"They just played a smarter game than we did," Sloan added.

The starting five wasn't the only thing Sloan changed. He also limited the number of players who saw action. Franciso Elson (left quad tendinitis) didn't dress, but Ronnie Price, Kyrylo Fesenko and Jeremy Evans didn't play.

That move came a night after Sloan said it's ideal to have an eight-man rotation.

"I thought I would tighten it up a little bit more and see if we could come out of it, and have a little bit more life," the Hall of Fame coach said. "But we didn't have a lot of energy. Our energy level has been down this whole trip."

Four opponents — including three bad ones — thank them for that.

GAME NOTES: This was the first game Price has not played in all season. Williams and Jefferson are now the only Jazz players to see action in all 44 games. ... This was only the third time all season the Jazz lost despite outshooting their opponent. ... This was Utah's 11th double-digit loss.

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

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