|Josh Howard, SF
29 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | 0
I was admittedly very apprehensive to see Josh Howard in the starting lineup again, but he responded with one of the best games he’s played since his injury. His handle continues to be a source of hilarity, but his steal at the end of the fourth quarter gave the Jazz one last gasp.
|Paul Millsap, PF
36 MIN | 6-17 FG | 4-6 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | +1
This was the tale of two halves for Paul. In the first half, we wondered where Utah’s fearless leader had gone. He wasn’t just missing shots; he was playing out of control. Millsap’s charm is that he plays like he has been there, and that is definitely not what he was doing in the first half. In the second half, he seemed to find himself again by hitting the boards hard and getting to the free throw line again. He showed good resilience, but still wasn’t the dominant Millsap we were used to watching a couple of weeks ago.
|Al Jefferson, C
38 MIN | 10-19 FG | 0-1 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | -1
It’s really too bad that when I think of this game from Al, I’ll probably remember that brick of a jump shot he took with a chance to tie the game with a minute left. That said, he played a good game. His recent surge of steals per game is very encouraging, though what would really help out the Jazz is if he could start getting to the free throw line more.
|Devin Harris, PG
30 MIN | 6-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | +6
Devin Harris’s play inspired all sorts of adjectives that I wouldn’t have believed a few weeks ago. He made some mistakes, but the guy was playing hard. He had confidence and he was pushing the ball up the floor with purpose. When he came off that high screen and hit a jumper with two minutes left, I wasn’t even surprised. I can’t believe these words are coming out of my mouth, but, but… I think I believe in Devin Harris again.
|Gordon Hayward, SG
28 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -5
Two fouls in the first three minutes doomed Gordon to one of those 8 point games and we all knew it as soon as it happened. When he gets in foul trouble early, all bets are off.
|Earl Watson, PG
18 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | -11
Jazz Nation’s hero of January is now shooting 11 for 43 from the field in February. There is no way that his ankle is 100%. Hopefully, the All Star break will give him a chance to rest it and get his shot back. He played better than 3 assists would indicate tonight, however, as the stat was victimized by some missed dunks and layups.
|C.J. Miles, SF
23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +1
C.J. Miles put up a nice line tonight, but he put his ceiling at a B- in the second quarter. The Jazz were on an 8-2 run to go up 40-32 with about nine minutes left and the crowd was all the way in. It looked like the Jazz had a chance to start building a cushion until Miles cranked consecutive terrible three-pointers that took the crowd out of the game and got the Spurs back in it.
|Derrick Favors, FC
12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -5
It’s hard to understand how someone as long and athletic as Favors could be on the floor an entire cumulative quarter without getting a rebound. 1-3 shooting nights will happen for a backup power forward, but look at his rebound regression each month: 8.5 in December, 5.4 in January, and 3.7 in February. Part of that is because he plays alongside Enes Kanter, who turns into a crazy, wild animal whenever the ball hits the rim, but part of that has to fall on him as well.
|Alec Burks, G
17 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -4
In a 15 second span in the second quarter, Burks crashed the offensive glass and rebounded a missed jumper by Kanter, missed the putback, stayed with it, and converted the layup. Then, as soon as Daniel Green crossed midcourt, Burks ruthlessly picked his pocket clean and ran the ball back for a vicious dunk. It was an incredible combination of athleticism, basketball IQ, and hustle. He gives us peeks into the long-term potential of the Jazz in a more stunning way than anyone else.
|Enes Kanter, F
10 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -2
Strangely enough, a 19-year-old is turning into one of the most consistent players on the Jazz. In very limited action, Kanter has put up at least 4 points and 4 rebounds a game for 8 games in a row despite only getting between 10-20 minutes a game. Plus, he played Duncan as tight as you could expect.
Two Things We Saw
- Different verse, same tune. The Jazz kept pace with a more experienced Western Conference powerhouse until a lack of big plays down the stretch put the game just an inch out of reach. At this point in the season, we could all see it happening before it was realized.
- The Jazz fall below .500 for the first time since January 2nd, with 7 of the next 9 still coming on the road. By the time that 5-game road trip is over, we’ll have a much clearer idea of what the story of the season will be.