DALLAS — The Utah Jazz's defense was as porous as it has been all season Friday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Utah allowed the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks to shoot nearly 55 percent from the field, including 11-19 from beyond the arc, in their 116-101 defeat.
GUARDS: Point man Devin Harris followed up a monster 24-point night against Toronto on Wednesday with a 10-point, four-assist outing against the Mavericks. Earl Watson didn't do much to help off the bench, going 0-3 from the field. Though Raja Bell was efficient offensively, he was responsible for yielding many of the 22 points scored by Dallas shooting guard Rodrigue Beaubois, who came into the contest averaging just 6.2 points per game. Grade: C-
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap provided yet another 20-point night — his third straight with at least that many points — while adding seven rebounds. However, Dallas' recent acquisition, Lamar Odom, essentially matched Utah's hot-handed big man with 19 points and five boards, including a trio of 3-pointers. Odom's ability to roam on the outside seemed to do more than keep Millsap on his toes. Gordon Hayward dished six assists to complement his eight points, but his counterpart, Shawn Marion, scored 16 points. Grade: C
CENTERS: Al Jefferson scored 19 points on 9-19 shooting in 29 minutes of play but remained quite soft inside. He grabbed six rebounds, but Dallas' Brendan Haywood, long considered a soft center himself, ripped 12 boards to complete a double-double that included 12 points on 4-5 shooting from the floor. Even the Mavericks' backup center, Ian Mahinmi, nabbed seven rebounds in less than 19 minutes. Grade: C-
BENCH: Though backup center Enes Kanter provided a great offensive spark with 12 points on 5-8 shooting, the rest of the Jazz bench combined to go a sorry 8-27 from the field en route to getting outscored 47-36 by the Dallas bench. Utah's top two bench players, Josh Howard and C.J. Miles, combined to shoot just 5-17. The Maverick bench was led by former NBA stars Vince Carter and Jason Terry, who combined to score 30 points on 12-23 shooting. Grade: D+
OVERALL: The Jazz displayed a type of defensive effort like that seen in Wednesday's home contest against the Raptors. They were slow to rotate on Dallas' fast-moving half-court set, which is hardly excusable considering much of the youth of the club. Veterans like Marion, Terry and Carter, who have up to a decade or more of age on many Jazzmen, were as energetic as anyone wearing a Utah uniform. Grade: C-
Rhett Wilkinson is a journalism and speech communications major at Utah State University. He has previously been an intern for the Deseret News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Twitter: wilklogan
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