The Jazz dropped their second consecutive contest and fourth in six games Thursday night in a 119-101 defeat at Golden State. Utah (12-9), which was without its two starting guards and a major contributor off the bench, gave up a whopping 96 field goal attempts to the run-and-gun Warriors.
GUARDS: It's difficult to place too much blame on point man Jamaal Tinsley, a veteran who has become a third-string point guard for the Jazz. Tinsley tallied nine points, six rebounds and 13 assists in 34 minutes in place of Devin Harris and Earl Watson, who were sidelined with a strained left hamstring and strained left ankle, respectively. Gordon Hayward's 21 points in Raja Bell's typical slot were offset by the high-octane play of Monta Ellis, who scored 33 points, and Stephan Curry, who scored 29 points on 10-14 shooting from the field. Together, the two Warrior guards went 11-13 from beyond the arc. Grade: B-
FORWARDS: Josh Howard played admirably when once again in the starting lineup, scoring 19 points and displaying some of his former all-star form on the offensive end of the court. Paul Millsap added a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. However, much like the starting guards, defense was a bit of an issue, as Dorell Wright scored 13 points and David Lee scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. At least they combined for a 14-35 effort from the field, compared with Ellis and Curry's 23-35. Grade: B+
CENTERS: Al Jefferson scored 19 points in 32 minutes, but he only grabbed six rebounds. He was one of the few Jazzmen who somewhat succeeded on defense, holding Golden State center Andres Biedrins to 0-3 shooting, although the Warriors didn't need much scoring in the middle when it was coming from everywhere else. Enes Kanter continued to be reliable on the glass, notching five rebounds in 16 minutes. Grade: B+
BENCH: With Tinsley and Howard in the starting lineup, the backup cupboard looked bare to start the game--game — and no one really proved the observation wrong. C.J. Miles' 1-6 effort with three turnovers in only 13 minutes marked an end to a terrific January, while rookie Alec Burks led all five bench players with seven points as the Utah subs were outscored 21-18 in a game dominated by starters on both sides: Grade: D+
OVERALL: Despite the fact that the team won eight out of nine games in just more than two weeks last month, fans should display some concern at this recent slide. Was the winning streak just a shadow of a team that really isn't among the Western Conference's better clubs? It's a question better answered when the Jazz return key injured guards, though any viewer of the game can take solace in the fact that Tinsley can still play the game quite well when he has the ball in his hands. Grade: C
Rhett Wilkinson is a journalism and speech communications major at Utah State University. He has previously been an intern for the Deseret News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Twitter: wilklogan