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Utah Jazz don't put up much of a fight in loss to Warriors

Published December 27, 2012 2:13 pm

Golden State dominates from the start as Jazz struggle with zone defense.
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On the night after Christmas, the Jazz looked less energetic than Santa Claus after his around-the-world journey.

Where to start?

How about the starters?

Coach Tyrone Corbin's starting lineup — including Jamaal Tinsley in place of the injured Mo Williams — was ineffective and outplayed during Golden State's 94-83 victory on Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Warriors jumped on Utah in the opening minutes, extended their lead late in the second quarter and answered the Jazz basket-for-basket at the start of the second half.

The result was a loss far more lopsided than the final 11-point margin, and questions about whether Corbin might consider a change in his lineup.

"You rethink a lot of things when you don't get the effort — when you don't get the performance you're looking for and lose a tough game like we lost tonight," he said.

"You think about whatever can get you going. So we'll look at a lot of different things. Whether we change or not, I don't know."

The bottom line?

"We have to play better," Corbin said.

With Tinsley starting alongside Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye, the Jazz looked sluggish from the beginning.

After Jefferson schooled Golden State rookie Festus Ezell and scored at the rim on Utah's opening two possessions, the Jazz's next 17 shots were jumpers.

When Corbin went to his bench for the first time with 4:47 left in the quarter, the Warriors' Stephen Curry had already scored 13 points and Utah trailed, 18-13.

"He got two 3-pointers … and that set the tone for the game," said Foye. "I think they played well. They moved the ball well, and we were flat. We missed shots. We turned the ball over too much. We just have to get back to work tomorrow."

Although the Jazz weren't playing well, they were still close when Corbin went back to his starters late in the first half.

Golden State quickly bumped a 38-32 lead to 49-37 when Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson hit open 3-pointers.

The Jazz converted only two of nine possessions during the critical stretch, when the Warriors continued using a zone they initially employed midway through the first quarter.

"They went to the zone because they had trouble playing us inside," Corbin said. "We bailed them out by taking early jump shots. …

"We just didn't move our bodies. You play into a zone when you stand. You've got to pass, cut, dive hard and attack the rim. We played right into their hands."

Jefferson finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but Utah's other four starters combined for 28 points on 8-for-29 shooting.

"We just didn't attack," Corbin said. "We just didn't attack the basket."

Asked why the Jazz had so much trouble with the Golden State zone, Foye shrugged.

"I don't know," he said. "They played with our psyche a little bit. We missed a couple shots. We were more effective when they went man-to-man. I don't know. We just have to go back to work."

Utah's starters played better on offense at the start of the second half, but Thompson didn't allow the Jazz to get close against their defense.

He scored seven quick points and Golden State maintained a 62-49 lead when Corbin again went to his bench.

It was too late.

The Warriors never let the Jazz get closer than nine, and that came in the final 30 seconds.

"It wasn't our best," said Paul Millsap, barely above a whisper. "I don't know. It just wasn't our best and we have to figure it out. … We just weren't able to find the holes in the defense. We have to work on that." —


O Stephen Curry scores 23 points and Golden State cruises past the Jazz.

• Al Jefferson leads Utah with 18 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes.

• The Jazz shoot only 38.6 percent, struggling against the Warriors' zone defense.






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