Utah Jazz report card: Jazz fade in second half, fall to Grizzlies
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — On the heels of a head-scratching loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Utah Jazz laid an egg against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday. Despite leading by as much as 12 in the first half, Utah faded away and allowed the Grizzlies to claim the victory, 99-86.
Zach Randolph led the way with 25 points and 16 rebounds for Memphis and Marc Gasol exploded for 13 points in the second half to finish with 16.
GUARDS: Mo Williams and Randy Foye were non-factors on offense. Mo Williams finished with seven points and six assists while Foye managed four points. The Jazz played awful in the second half and it started with the backcourt not pushing the tempo, firing up bad looks at the end of the shot clock. Williams and Foye went a combined 1 of 5 from the 3-point line. GRADE: D.
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap had a very quiet 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Millsap managed only four rebounds and played a part in Utah allowing Memphis to score 50 points in the paint. Marvin Williams had another uninspiring performance as he finished with six points on 2-of-6 shooting from the floor and 0-of-3 shooting from 3-point land. GRADE: C-.
CENTERS: Al Jefferson finished with 21 points and eight rebounds. His normal offensive production was overshadowed by a poor defensive perfmance and ill-advised decisions on offense. There were several moments where Jefferson found himself double-teamed and elected not to pass out to an open teammate. GRADE: C-.
BENCH: Enes Kanter, Gordon Hayward and DeMarre Carroll each had decent nights off the bench. Hayward finished with 11 points and five assists while Kanter finished with 10 points and two rebounds. Carroll finished with eight points and provided his normal defensive effort, which translated into a pair of steals. GRADE: B.
OVERALL: The Jazz appeared to be in good shape at halftime as the offense was productive and Gasol had only three points for the Grizzlies. A pathetic third-quarter performance by the Jazz put the Grizzlies back in the game and back in the lead, and the wheels came completely off in the fourth quarter. Despite playing the back end of a back-to-back, Utah's offensive production in the second half was inexcusable. Finishing at 41 percent from the field, 29 percent from 3-point range and managing 86 points won't be enough to defeat very many teams in the NBA. Jefferson is obviously a great offensive weapon and will score consistently each night, but Utah needs someone else to step up and score. GRADE: C-.
Tyler Huskinson is a freelance journalist who loves to cover sports. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter @TDHuskiSports.
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