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Utah Jazz: Unlikely guard tandem may see extended minutes

Published: Thursday, March 21 2013 12:20 p.m. MDT

Utah Jazz's Gordon Hayward (20) shoots for two points in front of Houston Rockets' Omer Asik in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Houston. The Rockets won 100-93. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) (Associated Press) Utah Jazz's Gordon Hayward (20) shoots for two points in front of Houston Rockets' Omer Asik in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Houston. The Rockets won 100-93. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) (Associated Press)

SAN ANTONIO — In the wake of Wednesday's disappointing defeat in Houston when the Utah Jazz trailed from start to finish, perhaps they found a new guardline — at least one to try down the crucial stretch of games in their playoff push.

For the final 18 minutes of the game when the Jazz came from 27 points down to cut the lead to five, Alec Burks was the point guard and Gordon Hayward was the shooting guard. Neither player was playing at his natural position, but the tandem was quite effective primarily because they both played hard.

After Thursday morning's practice at the AT&T Center, coach Tyrone Corbin, said we may see the same combination again.

"We've used them before (together) and we'll continue to use them, maybe a little bit more," Corbin said. "But we're looking at everything right now. We've got to try everything we have on the wall right now to see what gives us the best chance."

You can say that again. The Jazz are trying whatever they can to stay in the race for the playoffs.

Remember DeMarre Carroll? He had started five straight games after playing in 29 consecutive games before being benched for the past three games, never playing a minute.

Then there's Jamaal Tinsley. He hadn't played in eight of the previous 11 games, but was the first guard off the bench Wednesday night, replacing Mo Williams late in the first quarter. After an ineffective five minutes, he never played the rest of the game.

Paul Millsap was the Jazz's most effective player in the first half, but he didn't play a minute in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile Al Jefferson played the entire second half — 24 minutes — while Enes Kanter only got in for five minutes, his fewest minutes since a game against New Orleans on Jan. 30.

"It's where we are right now," Corbin said. "The rotation has changed a little bit, but we still expect everybody to be ready to play with the time they get."

The Jazz take on San Antonio Friday night at 6:30 p.m. MDT.

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