SALT LAKE CITY It's too bad the Utah Jazz can't play all of their games at home and against mediocre opponents. It's a formula that's working out well for them, at least after two games.
The Jazz defeated the New Orleans Hornets, 94-90, to improve to 2-3 on Monday night. They're 2-0 at home, and receive high marks for pulling out another victory at EnergySolutions Arena.
GUARDS: Devin Harris showed glimpses of playing a Jazz-style of basketball, and finished with 19 points and five assists. He only had one assist at halftime. Raja Bell didn't play in the fourth quarter, and coach Tyrone Corbin bristled when a reporter suggested that the Jazz got zero production from the veteran player. Bell didn't score, but he wasn't a liability on defense. Grade: B
FORWARDS: The Jazz got little from starters Paul Millsap (six points, six rebounds) and Gordon Hayward (three points). Millsap's big contribution was a dunk that made it 91-86 with 55.6 seconds remaining. Hayward played 16 seconds in the fourth quarter. Grade: C-
CENTERS: Al Jefferson scored a season-high 22 points and had six rebounds. Rookie Enes Kanter made a couple of mistakes late in the game, but they proved to be not too costly. Grade: A-
BENCH: Earl Watson was solid again, dishing seven assists and pushing tempo in his 20 minutes of play. Josh Howard and C.J. Miles provided the Jazz with a lift, as Howard had 13 points and Miles had 11 points. Rookie Alec Burks had five points and three rebounds in 10 first-half minutes. The Jazz and Hornets each got great contributions from their bench, as Utah's outscored New Orleans' 44-43. Grade: A-
COACHING: Tyrone Corbin is making unpredictable substitutions while continuing to tinker with his rotation. He's made all the right moves in Utah's two victories. He played Howard the entire fourth quarter, put Burks in before Miles, and stuck with Miles late in the game. Grade: A
OVERALL: It's too bad the Jazz can't bottle their energy and execution at home and take it on the road with them, because so far they're a gritty and fun team to watch in EnergySolutions Arena. Not everything worked to perfection on Monday night, but you can't argue with a victory. The win was a good building moment for the young roster. Grade A-