SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz got off to another slow start for the second consecutive game Wednesday. This time, the bench provided a big spark as Enes Kanter led the way with 17 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in 16 minutes of play as the Jazz topped the Milwaukee Bucks, 100-86.
GUARDS: Jamaal Tinsely managed two points and five assists in 19 minutes while Randy Foye scored 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting and dished out just one assist. There may have been more assists for the Jazz backcourt if players had made the first shot attempt. Several Jazz buckets came off second-chance points. GRADE: B.
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap played a great game with 19 points and six rebounds. The Jazz backcourt feasted on a Milwaukee team playing without its best defender in Larry Sanders. Marvin Williams reverted back to his low-scoring ways after stringing together a few solid games. Williams hit one 3-pointer for his scoring on the night. GRADE: B+.
CENTERS: Jefferson notched his 24th double-double of the season on 19 points and 11 rebounds — six of those rebounds came off the offensive glass. Samuel Dalembert scored above his season average with 10 points, but Jefferson did not allow the opposing center to score anywhere near the 35 points he dropped on Denver the previous night. GRADE: A-.
BENCH: Kanter's 17 points of the bench provided a great lift to the Jazz as they did not start the game off very strong. DeMarre Carroll, Derrick Favors, and Alec Burks all had solid nights off the bench. Favors nearly finished with a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds. Carroll finished with 11 points while providing his expected spark on both ends of the floor.
Burks' performance wasn't as outstanding compared to his performance against Sacramento, but he did score eight points and dished out three assists. The young guard committed four turnovers, but there weren't many Jazzmen who played significant minutes that didn't commit multiple turnovers. Burks did look more comfortable running the offense when called upon. One more bright spot was the high-to-low post-post passing from Kanter to Favors. Each player had a chance to finish at the rim and didn't, but it's a good sign Kanter and Favors can compliment each other on the offensive end. GRADE: A.
OVERALL: Milwaukee didn't look like a team playing on the back end of a back-to-back in the first quarter, but the Jazz didn't look like a team who has been enjoying a home-heavy schedule against mediocre teams either. The bench gave the Jazz another big lift and the performance of Kanter solidified the fact that the Jazz are in good hands if the bulk of the scoring responsibilities is ever left to the younger players on the team. The Jazz improved to 28-22 on the season, which is the highest above .500 the team has been thus far. 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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