Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — "Lob City" was no match for "Salt Lob City."
The Utah Jazz grounded the Los Angeles Clippers in a 108-79 victory on Tuesday night, and put on an aerial show of their own thanks to lobs by Earl Watson and dunks from high-flying Jeremy Evans. Oh, and that Paul Millsap guy is pretty good, too. You won't find any poor marks in this report card after a 29-point drubbing.
GUARDS: It seems like long ago when fans were clamoring for Raja Bell's removal from the starting lineup. OK, that was last week. But Bell is playing great ball right now, and his critics have no choice but to be quiet for now. He had eight points and played disruptive defense against the Clippers' backcourt. Devin Harris got revved up after a hard foul by Chauncey Billups in the third quarter and finished with 13 points and four assists. Billups was terrible in filling in for the injured Chris Paul. He had 10 points and shot 3-for-12, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range. Randy Foye shot 4-for-14 and had 11 points. Grade: A
FORWARDS: Millsap deserved the standing ovation he received when he left the game in the third quarter. He finished with 20 points and six rebounds and got the Jazz off to a great start by scoring 10 points in the first quarter. Gordon Hayward struggled again, scoring just three points on 0-for-4 shooting in 17 minutes. Hayward brings the grade down. Caron Butler had a team-high 14 points, and if he's going to be the team leader the Jazz are in great shape. Blake Griffin had 10 points and only brought a couple of Showtime plays from L.A. Grade: B
CENTERS: Al Jefferson didn't have a great shooting night, but he was effective on the glass with 13 rebounds. He had 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting. DeAndre Jordan was missing in action for the Clippers. He had two points in 20 minutes. Grade: B+
BENCH: No contest here again as the Jazz's reserves outscored the Clippers' bench 54-32. C.J. Miles had 19 points and rookies Alec Burks (11 points) and Enes Kanter (10 points) scored in double figures. Grade: A
COACHING: Tyrone Corbin put together a blueprint for stopping the Clippers by having his defense clog the middle and making the Clippers beat them from the outside. You can't argue with his rotation, either. He knew Hayward was off, so he only played him limited minutes. He also got the young kids in longer than usual, and Jazz fans were thankful that Evans received more playing time. Grade: A
OVERALL: Obviously, it helped that Paul didn't play, but the Jazz can't control who takes the court for their opponent. They took advantage of his absence and dominated in all phases. They now have the second-best winning percentage in the Western Conference. How crazy is that? Grade: A
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