Jack Dempsey, AP
For all the talk following Friday's win in Phoenix that the Jazz had improved on the road, that didn't seem to manifest itself the following night. Utah lost to Denver, 110-91, Saturday evening.
GUARDS: Jamaal Tinsely (5 points on 2-of-5 shooting, 5 assists) and Randy Foye (8 points on just 2-of-9 shooting, 3 turnovers) were clearly beaten by the Denver duo of Ty Lawson (14 points on 6-of-12 shooting, 4 assists) and Andre Iguodala (18 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 6 rebounds). The two Jazzmen represented their team's struggles to gain any momentum. Foye made just 1-of-5 3-point attempts after making 8 of 14 in his past four contests. GRADE: C-.
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap (15 points on 4-of-12 shooting, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks, 4 turnovers) and Marvin Williams (13 points on 4-of-10 shooting, 4 rebounds) were also edged — at least — by Kenneth Faried (15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, 10 rebounds) and especially small forward Danilo Gallinari (26 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 11 of 12 from the free-throw line). It's a wonder why Williams, already playing mediocre offensively, had 32 minutes when Gallinari was so dominating. Millsap has registered a dozen steals in merely the past three games. GRADE: C-.
CENTERS: You'd have to go back seven games, a 2-of-8 night in a Dec. 22 loss at Miami, to see a worse shooting night from Al Jefferson than his 4-of-13 display Saturday. His poor offensive outing was made worse by the performance from former Jazzman Kosta Koufos (8 points on 4-of-6 shooting, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks). GRADE: D+.
BENCH: The Jazz reserves did outscore their Nugget counterparts 38-29, though big man Derrick Favors shot just 1 of 6 while grabbing eight rebounds in 25 minutes. With Jefferson struggling offensively and Enes Kanter sidelined again, Utah could have used more effectiveness offensively from guys like Favors. Alec Burks rebounded from a poor night in Phoenix to score nine points, including a 2-of-4 mark from distance. Denver backup guard Andre Miller was arguably better than Tinsley. GRADE: C+.
OVERALL: The Jazz once again played flat at a time where it was believed they were making progress. In this case, it's the matter of being consistent on the road. The Jazz shot just 36 percent and didn't capitalize on the Nuggets' 19 turnovers, considering they tallied just as many themselves. GRADE: C-.
Rhett Wilkinson is a senior in communications and politics at Utah State University and the co-founder of Aggie BluePrint, USU's student magazine. A Deseret News editorial intern, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wilklogan
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