SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz headed into Wednesday night hoping to a avoid a three-game overall losing streak and a two-game home losing streak. However, Al Horford torched the Jazz for a season-high 34 points as the Hawks topped Utah, 102-91.
GUARDS: Earl Watson started his second consecutive game and finished with five assists and three rebounds. Watson did not score any points, which has come to be expected from him and fellow veteran Jamaal Tinsley. Randy Foye played 22 minutes and finished with 11 points on 2-of-5 shooting from 3-point range and 4-of-10 shooting overall. The guards struggled all night on defense as Devin Harris and Jeff Teague got to the rim with ease. GRADE: C
FORWARDS: The Jazz were without Paul Millsap against the Hawks. Derrick Favors got the start. Favors had a very strong game with 17 points and 15 rebounds to go with three assists and three blocks. Marvin Williams played 22 minutes and hit his season average of eight points to go with four rebounds. Marvin Williams played solid defense but Favors struggled against Josh Smith, as the dynamic forward went off for 24 points. GRADE: B+.
CENTERS: Jefferson finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, but his defensive struggles were magnified by the monster game from Horford. Horford put up 22 shot attempts — several of those were uncontested. Jefferson tweaked his ankle late in the fourth quarter and to his credit fought through the injury to the end of the game. GRADE: B.1 comment on this story
BENCH: With Favors starting, the bench wasn't as strong as in games past. Gordon Hayward played an average game with 11 points, three rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. DeMarre Carroll provided a late spark and finished with eight points and three rebounds. Enes Kanter finished with six points, while Alec Burks finished with four points and four rebounds. GRADE: B.
OVERALL: The Jazz had an opportunity to pick up some wins at home this week and gain some ground in the playoff race. They didn't take advantage. On Wednesday, the Jazz came out flat in the first quarter and struggled with defense all night against a team that has been very good on the road the last few games. The Jazz missed the contributions of Paul Millsap and the defensive struggles of Jefferson allowed Horford to go off. 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.