“They locked in on the strong side. We struggled to get the ball on the weak side in the first half,” Corbin said. “Eventually it caught up to us.”
The Jazz’s first seven possessions offered an indication that the visitors were in for a miserable outing. That clunker of a start: four missed jump shots, including a flat 3-point attempt by Jamaal Tinsley, two turnovers and a shot-clock violation.
Another example of the rough night by Utah: A three-quarters-court heave by Mike Harris at the end of the first half that barely hit the backboard wasn’t necessarily the Jazz’s worst shot of the night.
The Jazz shot 37.8 percent from the field, only hit 4 of 18 3-pointers and turned the ball over 20 times. On a positive note, Utah did improve in scoring, with 18, 20, 23 and 27 points in each progressive quarter.
Hayward led Utah in scoring with 22 points, while Kanter had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven turnovers. Rookie center Rudy Gobert had a career-best 11 boards and two blocked shots before fouling out in less than 16 minutes.
The biggest positive for short-handed Utah, which only had 10 players available to begin the season, was the fact that Brandon Rush played. The shooting guard hadn’t seen action since tearing the ACL in his left knee with the Warriors on Nov. 2, 2012.
Rush, who had surgery in January, ended with two fouls, two turnovers and one assist in 10 minutes. He didn’t experience immediate swelling and his hopeful he’ll be able to play Wednesday in Boston, perhaps getting even more than his limitation of five-minute stints.
Asked about his shot before the game, Rush smiled and said, “I don’t think you can lose the touch.” But he didn’t attempt a shot in his return, admitting that he was hesitant and passed up a couple of open looks.
“Rusty. Real rusty. I was real nervous out there,” Rush said. “Once I get the feel for the game, practicing and playing more and catching the rhythm, I think I’ll be a lot better.”
The Jazz hope the same goes for them — all the better if the rhythm is found against winless Boston.
“They (are) looking for a win, too,” Favors said. “They’re going to come out ready, so we’ve got to come out ready and prepared to fight.”
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