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Utah Jazz: Mediocre play from big men slow Jazz in loss to Hawks

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 3:40 p.m. MDT

Utah Jazz's point guard Diante Garrett (8) knocks the ball away from Atlanta Hawks' point guard Shelvin Mack (8) as he drives to the hoop as the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks play Monday, March 10, 2014 in EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Hawks won 112-110. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah Jazz's point guard Diante Garrett (8) knocks the ball away from Atlanta Hawks' point guard Shelvin Mack (8) as he drives to the hoop as the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks play Monday, March 10, 2014 in EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Hawks won 112-110. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Utah Jazz 112-110 on Monday night. Three former Jazz players, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver, returned to EnergySolutions Arena to face their old team. Korver’s NBA record 127 games in a row with a 3-pointer came to a halt on Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers, where he shot 0-for-5 from behind the arc. Karl Malone showed up to the game to rally Jazz fans and entertain the crowd during timeouts, but his presence couldn’t will the Jazz to victory.

Here’s a breakdown of how the Jazz performed on Monday.

Guards

Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward started out slow in the first half, but finished the game strong. Burke scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and finished with two rebounds and four assists. His 3-pointer with less than four minutes left broke a 93-all tie, and his two 3-pointers in the last six seconds of the game brought the Jazz within two and set the final score. Hayward struggled to shoot the ball, but did Hayward-like things all night. He finished with 13 points, eight rebounds seven assists and two steals. Poor perimeter defense hurt their grade.

A Marine Color Guard presents the flag prior to tipoff as the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks play Monday, March 10, 2014 in EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) A Marine Color Guard presents the flag prior to tipoff as the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks play Monday, March 10, 2014 in EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Grade: B-

Forwards

Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson both had solid but not spectacular games. Williams finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three steals, including a +13 in the plus/minus column. Jefferson finished with 15 points, including shooting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Jefferson's huge, vintage dunk in the third quarter rallied the Jazz and pumped up the crowd, giving Utah momentum that lasted throughout the rest of the game. But a lack of quality defense from the forwards hurt the Jazz, and ultimately cost them the game.

Grade: C+

Center

Derrick Favors started the game off strong, but tapered off in the second half. He recorded 10 points and eight rebounds in the first half, but finished the game with 14 and nine because of foul trouble. He struggled against his former teammate, Millsap, who took him off the dribble and hit mid- and long-range shots all night.

Atlanta Hawks' power forward Paul Millsap (4) puts up a shot over Utah Jazz's power forward Marvin Williams (2) as the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks play Monday, March 10, 2014 in EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Atlanta Hawks' power forward Paul Millsap (4) puts up a shot over Utah Jazz's power forward Marvin Williams (2) as the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks play Monday, March 10, 2014 in EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Grade: C

Bench

Enes Kanter entered the game early on and played four more minutes than Favors at the center position. Kanter finished with 11 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, and had his way with the Atlanta big men for most of the night. Alec Burks came off the bench to score 12 points, grab seven rebounds and hand out four assists in his high-flying, instant offense role for Utah. Jeremy Evans played 11 minutes, and his only basket was a huge dunk. The bench fulfilled its role, but it wasn't enough to propel the Jazz to a win.

Grade: B

Former Jazz players

The three best players for the Hawks all were former Jazz players. Millsap, Carroll and Korver combined for 60 of Atlanta’s 112 points. When the game was on the line, the trio scored 15 of Atlanta’s last 19 points. All three got the starting nod, and they all looked like seasoned veterans. The Jazz could especially use those three this season.

Utah Jazz's power forward Marvin Williams (2) screams in celebration as the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks play Monday, March 10, 2014 in EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Hawks won 112-110. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah Jazz's power forward Marvin Williams (2) screams in celebration as the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks play Monday, March 10, 2014 in EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Hawks won 112-110. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Grade: A+

Follow Trent Christiansen on Twitter @TheRealTrento.

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