Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward back in the starting lineup

Published: Saturday, March 16 2013 7:20 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Coach Tyrone Corbin wasn't kidding when he hinted about making changes to the Utah Jazz's starting lineup.

The change — the 14th different first five this season — could be a big one, too.

Gordon Hayward will replace DeMarre Carroll in the first five as the starting small forward tonight when the Jazz host the Memphis Grizzlies (8 p.m., EnergySolutions Arena).

Corbin said he hopes the change will improve the Jazz's pace in the beginning of games. He also likes having another ballhandler in the starting group and is looking for more easy baskets.

Other Jazz starters remain the same: Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.

"We have 17 games left to fight for our lives," Corbin said. "We want to make sure we do everything we can right now to get to that level and stage as soon as we can."

Utah (33-32) has lost eight of 10 games and has slipped out of its hold on a playoff spot, trailing the Lakers (35-32) by two wins.

Hayward was in the starting group at the beginning of the season but was sent to lead the reserve group in Washington on Nov. 17. Though the Jazz have struggled lately, the third-year swingman has played some of his best pro basketball since returning from his 10-game injury absence.

The Jazz are just looking to find some traction after this damaging skid. They face a Grizzlies squad that lost in Denver, 87-80, on Friday night but has won 14 of 16 games.

"It's about us right now. Tonight is a playoff game for us," Jazz point guard Mo Williams said. "We're going to approach it (with) playoff intensity. It's going to be physical. I'm pretty confident."

That confidence is something Corbin admitted the Jazz have been lacking. A win tonight would go a long way to get some of the missing swagger back.

"It's a must-win for us," Williams added. "We know where we are as a team. We know where we want to get. We know what we have do to get there."

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