SALT LAKE CITY — One of the best home records and one of the best road records in the NBA squared off Wednesday night. Although Mo Williams only scored eight points for the Utah Jazz, his buzzer-beating 3-point shot gave Utah a 99-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
GUARDS: Williams has forced a few questionable shots at the end of games thus far this season and he forced another one before he had a chance at redemption with less than five seconds to play. Overall, he pushed the pace well and helped the Jazz rack up 29 fast-break points. Randy Foye had another nice night offensively as he finished with 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point land. The Utah front court did a great job defensively considering the difficult task of guarding the pick and roll of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. GRADE: A.
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap had a great game as he finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Millsap had 13 points at halftime and was a catalyst to Utah’s comeback in the second quarter. Marvin Williams had a down type of night as he finished with two points and two rebounds, and he wasn’t much more than a warm body out on the floor. GRADE: B.
CENTERS: Al Jefferson couldn’t seem to find a rebound to save his life against Duncan, but the Jazz bigman put points on the board in crucial moments and did just about the best he could defensively against Duncan. Jefferson’s steal and layup to tie the game late in the fourth quarter was huge for a player often criticized for his lack of defensive effort. GRADE: A.
BENCH: San Antonio’s bench is superior to Utah’s overall. In point production, it's the second-best bench in the NBA. San Antonio did not have Gordon Hayward, however, and that made a big difference for Utah. Hayward finished with 19 points on scorching 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range and 7-of-14 overall to go with seven rebounds and six dimes. Hayward also shared in the responsibility of guarding Parker. DeMarre Carroll was another defensive spark despite not scoring. Aside from Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter were the only bench players to score with six apiece. GRADE: A.
OVERALL: After starting the game slow and making Duncan look 15 years younger, it seemed the Jazz would take another home loss to a team that swept them from the playoffs last year. Instead, the Jazz toughened up defensively and pushed the tempo. Mo Williams finally hit the game-winning shot he had been craving all season and the Jazz beat a team that had an 11-2 road record heading into the game. GRADE: A.
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.
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