Utah Jazz-Houston Rockets: Report card

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 29 2012 11:51 p.m. MST

Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, right, is honored by Jazz president Greg Miller, left, and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, center before the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in Salt Lake City. Evans won the NBA All-Star dunk contest.

Jim Urquhart, Associated Press

GUARDS: Devin Harris had one of his best games of the season, and he helped turn the game's tide in the final minutes of the second quarter. Gordon Hayward was solid all-around. The Rockets' usual strong backcourt was off. Kyle Lowry spent too much time whining at the officials, and Kevin Martin shot 20 percent.

Grade: A

Forwards: Josh Howard looks to be better suited to a starting role, as he had 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists. There was nothing wrong with Derrick Favors' game as he contributed defensively and on the boards. Luis Scola calmed down after an outstanding first quarter, and Chandler Parsons was a non-factor.

Grade: B+

Centers: Al Jefferson had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Samuel Dalembert made just one basket. Houston is extremely thin at center, and Jefferson probably could have taken the night off and saved his energy for the Miami Heat on Friday.

Grade: B+

Bench: C.J. Miles had a season-high in points and led the Jazz in scoring. Earl Watson had an interesting stat-line with no points, eight assists and six rebounds. Jeremy Evans even got in the act — after committing two turnovers in the first 90 seconds he played, that is. He had two dunks in the fourth quarter, and an outstanding block of an attempted dunk by Goran Dragic. The Jazz reserves only outscored the Rockets' bench by three, but they greatly outplayed them.

Grade: B+

Overall: The Jazz needed this win as badly as they needed any victory this season. They cooled down what had been a hot Rockets team, and overcame a sluggish start. Harris, who wasn't at 100 percent and sat out all of the fourth quarter, sparked the turnaround in the second quarter. The Jazz also won without Paul Millsap, who they undoubtedly need back before playing the Heat on Friday night.

Grade: A

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