The Jazz lost have lost two in a row, both on the road to Western Conference opponents. Time to start panicking, right?
Not really, although the start hasn't been good.
"It's early," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "It's only the third game of the season. You learn lessons. I thought we learned lessons last night and we didn't show it in the first half. Then we came in the third and we show what we can do if we focus on what we need to do and come out and work at it."
Mo Williams was tremendous for the Jazz. His stat line really tells the story: 29 points, 9-of-13 from the field, 9-for-9 on free throws, 9 assists, 2 turnovers. What the stat line doesn't convey is the swagger with which Williams played in the final minutes of the third quarter. He was just pulling up in transition and firing at will. Randy Foye was handling the ball, so Williams could work off screens to get himself open.
"When he goes," Gordon Hayward said, "he can go."
A couple of other items:
• With 8:45 left in the third quarter, Williams was called for a flagrant foul on Tony Parker after Parker got loose in transition. Williams tried to wrap up Parker to prevent the easy basket, the two collided and Parker ended up going tothe floor. Corbin was irate on the sideline, arguing against the flagrant call (which was reviewed by the officials). The explanation from referee Zach Zarba was that Williams threw Parker to the ground. Indeed, on the replay, Williams does appear to push Parker down, although it's tough to see whether anything malicious occurred.
"He was trying to grab a guy to stop a play," Corbin said. "[Zarba] said he threw him to the ground. I didn't really see that part, I didn't have the luxury of seeing the replay. [Williams] was in a bad position and I thought he called the flagrant, we move on. They made the call, we learn from it, I thought he made the right play, couldn't stop him at that point so he just took a foul."
• Paul Millsap made a return to small forward in the second quarter. Millsap has been the Jazz's starting four-man since last year's experiment of moving him to the three. However, with how well Derrick Favors was playing on defense — although, with the Jazz down 19, it could be argued that no one was playing very well on defense — Corbin was trying to get creative to leave him on the floor.
"I've been here seven years," Millsap said. "So I know how to play [in this system] from any position. So, if I get stuck out there then I'm able to adjust to it."
For the final 4:26 of the second quarter, the Jazz went with a lineup of Favors, Millsap, Al Jefferson, Hayward and Mo Williams. The Jazz outscored the Spurs 16-15 in that span, but at one point scored on five straight possessions.
— Bill Oram
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