Jazz 111 – Wolves 105: Player Grades

March 15th, 2012 | by Spencer Hall

Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

Minnesota Timberwolves 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
111 Utah Jazz
Josh Howard, SF 22 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -2

I was disappointed there weren’t more LOLJOSH moments in this game, but I strangely think his unpredictability is actually a good thing for the Jazz. He inserts some entropy into an otherwise stagnant system.

Paul Millsap, PF 38 MIN | 7-17 FG | 2-3 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | +5

His miss at the end of regulation nearly made his strong play in the fourth quarter a moot point, but he redeemed himself in overtime. In one 90 second stretch he stole the ball 3 times, drew 2 charges, and dunked once. He finished with an unbelievable 8 steals–becoming only the second Jazz player to do so (Stockton and Kirilenko were the others).

Al Jefferson, C 33 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-4 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -2

Vintage night from Jefferson, for good and bad. A double-double and lots of shot attempts.

Raja Bell, SG 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -8

I had to double check after the game to see if Raja even played.

Devin Harris, PG 32 MIN | 5-14 FG | 5-7 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -5

Not a great shooting night from Harris, but his three 3s game at opportune times

Jamaal Tinsley, PG 21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 6 PTS | +11

The veteran played with his signature steady hand and did a great job of directing the Jazz offense in the absence of the injured Earl Watson.

Gordon Hayward, SG 38 MIN | 9-17 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 26 PTS | +14

One of the strongest games of the year from Hayward, who once again showed how effective he is when he plays assertively. He played 38 minutes even though he came off the bench and came up big down the stretch (other than one missed free throw that would have prevented the Wolves from sending the game into overtime.

Derrick Favors, FC 23 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 16 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +7

16 rebounds in just 23 minutes? Beast mode for young Favors. He still has trouble finishing around the rim, but his four blocks and hard work gave the Jazz a nice boost off the bench.

Alec Burks, G 31 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +8

The Free Alec Burks Movement was finally rewarded with 25 strong minutes and 15 points. After the game, the always-happy Burks acknowledged that he was aware of the #freealecburks sentiment and said with a smile that he “definitely supports that.”

Burks also added “It’s crazy, right? I feel like [Corbin] saw me out there get in a rhythm, making shots and he let me ride. I thank him for that. I had a good game.”

Enes Kanter, F 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +2

Not the greatest game from Kanter, who once again seemed mystified by the rim and seemed to find comfort in the darkness of the many hands blocking his shots time after time. Still managed to grab six rebounds, though.

After the game, as he left the locker room, Kevin O’Connor pulled him aside and seemed to be giving him some coaching. I have no idea what was said, but in my mind it was about toughness and being a beast.

Four Things We Saw

  1. MVP: Despite missing a chance to win the game in regulation, Paul Millsap put on a spectacular fourth quarter and overtime performance, including a 90 second stretch with 3 steals, 2 drawn fouls, and a dunk.
  2. Defining Moment: Paul Millsap missed the easiest lob in history that would have won the game for the Jazz in regulation. With 0.7 remaining, the Wolves got mixed up and left Millsap all alone for the egregious miss.
  3. X factor: The Free Alec Burks movement was rewarded with 15 points and 25 minutes. Gordon Hayward (26 points) and Derrick Favors (16 rebounds) also had great games for the Jazz youngsters.
  4. Minnesota played like the vintage Pesky Wolves that used to bring out the best in Hot Rod Hundley. Kevin Love (25 points, 16 rebounds) was a beast in a losing effort.
Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
Spencer Hall
Spencer Hall

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