MEMPHIS — Behind balanced scoring from Utah's starting front line, the Jazz (14-12) were able to notch their third win on the road in 10 games this season, beating Memphis (14-14) 98-88 Sunday night. Utah overcame 14 turnovers by shooting 51 percent from the field and in forcing 19 Memphis miscues.
GUARDS: Devin Harris and Raja Bell combined to score 19 points on 8-16 shooting from the floor, while Harris and Watson combined for eight assists and two turnovers. The point guards' play was sufficient enough against Memphis' Mike Conley (17 points, six assists) and Tony Allen (12 points, four rebounds). Grade: C+
FORWARDS: Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap were superb. The duo combined for 39 points on 15-23 shooting and nine assists. Millsap also grabbed eight boards. Hayward kept up with high-flying Rudy Gay (22 points, six rebounds), while dynamic swingman O.J. Mayo, a 12.4 point-per-game scorer entering the game, was held to two points on 0-3 shooting. He had issues defending the bigger Millsap when he was matched against him. Grade: A-
CENTERS: Al Jefferson's 21 points (on 10-17 shooting) and 15 rebounds were needed on a night that Memphis' Marc Gasol came close to his season averages with 17 points and nine boards. Enes Kanter was steady, contributing four points and five rebounds in 12 minutes for the Jazz. Grade: A-
BENCH: Though he didn't score in double-digits — an increasing indicator of the Jazz's likelihood for success — C.J. Miles scored six points on 3-6 shooting in 15 minutes. Derrick Favors scored six points and grabbed four rebounds in 16 minutes as the Utah reserves outscored the Memphis bench 19-18. Memphis' Marresse Speights helped offset Mayo's inability to slow down Millsap, grabbing 11 rebounds, but he shot just 3-11 from the floor. Josh Howard shot just 1-6 from the floor in 15 minutes. Grade: B+3 comments on this story
OVERALL: The Jazz were in-sync on offense while the talented but smaller Memphis forwards had difficulty with Utah's front line. It will be especially interesting to see if a simliar story prevails Tuesday at Oklahoma City. Outside of the overall effective shooting effort, a 5-13 display (39 percent) from distance was a welcome sight for Utah, which entered the game tied for 28th in the league in 3-point percentage (29.3) and 3s made (3.7) and attempted (12.7). A win to open a three-road-games-in-three-nights trip must have been even more welcome. Grade: B+
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 email@example.com or at Twitter: wilklogan