Utah Jazz report card: Gordon Hayward drops 27, leads Utah in comeback win over Dallas
Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — December wasn't too kind to the Utah Jazz at home. The Jazz made it 2-for-2 in the month of January with a win over the Dallas Mavericks. Gordon Hayward had a big night off the bench as he finished with 27 points, five blocks, five assists and two blocks to lead the Jazz to their 11th home win, 100-94.
Guards: Ever since the injury of Mo Williams, neither Jamaal Tinsley nor Earl Watson have done much offensively for the Jazz. Head coach Tyrone Corbin went with a front-court of Hayward, Alec Burks and Randy Foye. This lineup played very well together, but the Mo Williams' backups in Watson and Tinsley did little offensively. Tinsely did do better than he has in past games however as he finished with five points and six assists. Randy Foye had a below-average night with nine points.
Forwards: Paul Millsap finished with 14 points and eight rebounds and found success playing with the bench as he has the past couple of games.Marvin Williams finished with only three points but it was a big buzzer beater 3-pointer to tie the game 53-all at halftime. Millsap had the difficult assignment of guarding Dirk Nowitzki and he held the big forward to 20 points.
Centers: Al Jefferson finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds and played decent defense whenever the Mavericks threw the pick-and-roll Utah's way.
Bench: The Mavericks played with a great deal of physicality for most of the night and it was the bench that began to match the physicality in the second quarter. Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors lead the physical play and added some points on the board in limited minutes. As mentioned previously, Hayward had a great night off the bench. Alec Burks added 13 points off the bench including a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down to tie the game at 83-all. The combination of Hayward, Burks and Foye in the front court without Watson and Tinsley proved to be very effective.
Overall: The Jazz picked up a much needed win against a team it needed to defeat. The defensive effort wasn't very good through three quarters, but the Jazz held the Mavericks to 14 points in the fourth quarter. Corbin seems to have figured out a lineup that will give the Jazz the best chance to win the game in the absence of Mo Williams. Hayward has been on fire as of late and he showed he could score, be a floor general and a catalyst on defensive intensity.
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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