PHILADELPHIA — The Jazz's modest two-game winning streak ended in the City of Brotherly Love. Utah (19-20) allowed Philadelphia (24-17) to shoot nearly 53 percent from the field in losing 104-91.
Guards: Devin Harris' one assist marked the sixth straight game the starting point guard has registered five assists or fewer. Raja Bell and Earl Watson combined to shoot 4-13, though Watson had five dimes in less than 20 minutes. Sixer guards Jrue Holiday, Louis Williams and second-year pro Evan Turner combined to be the latest backcourt players to burn Utah, as the trio combined for 53 points on 20-33 shooting. GRADE: D+
Forwards: Josh Howard went 0-6 with a turnover while being largely responsible for letting Andre Iguodala notch 10 points on perfect 5-5 shooting with 10 assists and seven rebounds. Howard's lackluster performance ended an eight-game stretch where he scored in double figures. Paul Millsap and Gordon Hayward assuaged part of Howard's awful game by combining for 28 points on 9-16 shooting. Millsap also had nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. GRADE: B-
Centers: Two days removed from a second consecutive "triple threat" type of game, Al Jefferson returned to earth, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds in a subpar game. His one assist was also quite short of the five he gave against Charlotte and seven against Cleveland. Jefferson entered the game having scored 20 points or more in three of the past four contests. GRADE: C
Bench: The Jazz were outscored 50-48 by the Sixer bench, though Derrick Favors gave another strong performance with 14 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes. Hayward and Favors were the only Utah reserves that shined. C.J. Miles sure didn't: the seventh-year pro went 2-10 Friday, making him 11-41 in the past five games. The Jazz's struggle to contain Williams and Thaddeus Young (21 points, six rebounds) contributed to their inability to stay within striking distance. GRADE: C-
Overall: It's almost scary the way the Jazz backcourt struggles with NBA guards of every shape, size and age. It certainly wasn't a positive to see Howard struggle so mightily after having a great stretch the past couple of weeks as he returns from a nagging injury. Utah really could have used this win to notch a winning record on its five-game road trip, especially as they head to Chicago. GRADE: C-
Rhett Wilkinson is a journalism and speech communications major at Utah State University. He has previously been an intern for the Deseret News. He can be reached at [email protected] or at Twitter: wilklogan