SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz again took care of business at home, improving to 4-0 in EnergySolutions Arena with a 94-85 win over Memphis on Friday night.
Thank the bench, another productive night by Al Jefferson and another opponent missing a star. The Grizzlies were without forward Zach Randolph, but that doesnt mean the Jazz get poor marks for taking advantage of his absence.
GUARDS: Again, there aren't a whole of positives to report from Utah's starting backcourt. Raja Bell started, but didn't play starter minutes. He had three points, three assists and two rebounds in 18 minutes. Devin Harris struggled shooting the ball, and only had three assists. Memphis got a season-high 21 points from Tony Allen and 11 points and six assists from Mike Conley, who shot too much and didn't make enough of his attempts. Grade: C
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap suddenly can't miss. He went 7-for-9 from the field and has made 13 of 16 attempts in Utah's last two games. Gordon Hayward started slowly, but his dunk past Marc Gasol in the fourth quarter put the Jazz up 80-73 and deflated the Grizzlies. Grade: A-
CENTERS: Al Jefferson continues to produce. He had a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter. His defense against Gasol wasn't too bad. Grade: B+
BENCH: 41-11. That was the difference in scoring between the two benches. Josh Howard was solid, scoring 13 points with three rebounds. Earl Watson, who continues to run Utah's offense efficiently, had a season-high 11 points and five assists. Derrick Favors was shaky early in the game, but provided a couple of nice blocked shots and energy plays. Rookie Alec Burks had seven points in 15 minutes. C.J. Miles only played nine minutes and had a blocked shot. Grade: A+
COACHING: Tyrone continues to tinker with his lineups and rotations, and he continues to get results. He said after the game that he expects everyone to be ready to play at anytime. Players such as Howard and Watson have responded and helped the Jazz to a perfect record at home. Grade: A
OVERALL: The Jazz showed some fight after falling behind by 10 points in the first quarter. They have now shown that they can beat a decent team at home. Now, they have a chance to prove they can win games away from the friendly confines of EnergySolutions Arena, beginning Saturday night at Golden State. There are plenty of positives to take away from Friday's win, such as bench play, the continued ability to block shots and solid overall defense. Grade A