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Utah Jazz muster lackluster effort in 'Nawlins'

Published: Monday, Feb. 13 2012 11:44 p.m. MST

"Beyond disappointing," Jazz guard Earl Watson said. "Simply beyond disappointing."

Turnovers were a major problem. The Jazz coughed up the ball 20 times, leading to 23 Hornets points.

New Orleans' zone defense was troublesome as well. That stymied Utah's offense into shooting just 41 percent a night after making more than half of their shots in Memphis.

"Early in the game, we came out and we were playing pretty hard," Jazz guard Raja Bell said. "I thought we had a nice thing going. I don't know where the wheels fell off, but they did."

Bell couldn't answer why. Nobody could.

"In the second half, it was obvious that our heads weren't into it," Bell said, referring to the third quarter in which Utah was outscored 25-15 and fell behind by 20. "We were throwing the ball all over the gym, just doing things that were pretty uncharacteristic for us. Our sets were awful. Our offense was terrible."

Still, a rag-tag group of Jazz players somehow made things interesting down the stretch.

Starter Gordon Hayward joined subs Watson, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks with eight minutes remaining and Utah down by 17, and that group erased all but three points off of the Hornets' lead.

Corbin said he doesn't intend to make lineup changes after this dud, and one of his starters didn't blame him for letting the majority of the main guys finish out the game on the bench.

"I would've done the same thing the way we started the third quarter," Jefferson said. "I would've done the same thing."

Favors' putback brought the Jazz to within 83-80, but Kaman and Trevor Ariza hit free throws to end Utah's comeback bid and make for a long, long flight to Oklahoma City.

Email: jody@desnews.com

Twitter: DJJazzyJody

Blog: Jazzland.blogs.deseretnews.com

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