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NBA preseason: Jazz fizzle in 96-94 loss to Clippers

Published October 18, 2012 4:28 pm

Preseason • Utah loses after building big first-half lead.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Los Angeles • For all the talk about who will start at certain positions for the Jazz, maybe the second unit is the one guys should want to be on.

Through five exhibition games, the Jazz reserves have been an energetic and exciting bunch, pushing the tempo and scoring points in big bunches. In Wednesday's dramatic 96-94 loss, they were the ones who built a double-digit lead in the second quarter and nearly reclaimed it in the fourth quarter.

The Jazz's bench outscored the Clippers reserve 57-41.

"They're doing their jobs," said Paul Millsap, who spent the first several years of his career leading the Jazz's reserves. "That's what you expect from your second unit is to get out there and push the lead out, get out there and run, that's what we need from the second unit."

Backup guard Randy Foye led the Jazz with 17 points in the loss, and it wasn't until his 3-pointer as time expired went long that the Clippers escaped with a win. The Jazz fell to 3-2 in the preseason, but the loss exposed more good than bad about the Jazz.

Foye found his shooting touch, making 4 of 8 3-point attempts against his former team. But if there was a play that is emblematic of the second unit — which is in need of a nickname, by the way — it came with 5:24 left in the second quarter and was made by a player who on a normal night would more likely be considered a member of the Jazz's third unit.

Jeremy Evans, who earned bonus minutes thanks to Derrick Favors sitting out with a bruised knee, blocked a shot by Rony Turiaf, corralled the loose ball and went to the other end for a one-handed spike dunk over Turiaf.

"Oh my God," Foye said. "That's all I can say. You know how you get those text messages, 'OMG?' That's it."

Evans got back on defense following the dunk to get his hands on a Clipper pass and cause a loose ball.

"It was a great learning lesson," coach Tyrone Corbin said, "just playing with effort, and the desire to make three plays in one."

So what is it about this second unit? The Jazz entered camp with seemingly more depth than they knew what to do with. Nine Jazz players have, at some point, averaged more than 30 minutes per game in a season.

But the Jazz reserves seem to be relatively low on ego. They have bought into their roles coming off the bench. Foye, who can play point guard and shooting guard, was forced to take over point guard duties Tuesday when Jamaal Tinsley started for the second straight game as Mo Williams sat out with a strained adductor muscle.

Foye said players coming off the bench have an advantage.

"I just think you just get to analyze the game for the first eight minutes, nine minutes, 10 minutes," he said, "and you know what you have to do when you get in there. The biggest thing we can do every night is bring energy. That's the biggest thing for us in that second unit."

Throughout the preseason, Corbin has primarily played his starters in the first and third quarters, and mixed and matched his reserves in the second and fourth. In the quarters played by the reserves Wednesday, the Jazz outscored the Clippers 55-41. The starters, conversely, were outscored 55-39.

Millsap, who came off the bench for 275 of his 462 regular season games, said there is no pressure for players coming off the bench.

"The pressure's not on the bench guys," he said. "They get out there, they do their thing — this is me speaking from experience, because I've been there before. The pressure is off you, and you can get out there and do your thing."

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz —

Highlights

R Randy Foye leads the Jazz with 17 points, but his 3-pointer at the buzzer is long.

• Blake Griffin scores 23 points.

• Jeremy Evans has the game-defining play in the second quarter: a block that he took the length of the floor for a dunk. Clippers 96, Jazz 94

FG FT Reb

Utah Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

MaWllms 24:15 3-7 1-1 0-4 0 4 8

Millsap 26:20 6-11 1-5 2-8 1 3 13

Jeffersn 24:55 4-10 0-0 1-5 2 4 8

Tinsley 21:48 0-5 0-0 1-3 7 3 0

Hayward 25:20 2-5 6-8 1-4 1 0 11

Foye 26:22 6-15 1-2 0-1 1 4 17

Burks 24:37 3-10 2-4 0-3 3 4 9

Kanter 23:05 4-9 6-7 4-9 1 2 14

Evans 21:30 3-3 0-0 3-4 1 3 6

Carroll 21:48 2-6 3-4 2-7 3 0 8

Totals 240:00 33-81 20-31 14-48 20 27 94

Percentages: FG .407, FT .645. 3-Point Goals: 8-18, .444 (Foye 4-8, Carroll 1-1, Burks 1-2, Ma.Williams 1-2, Hayward 1-3, Millsap 0-1, Tinsley 0-1). Team Rebounds: 11. Team Turnovers: 17 (22 PTS). Blocked Shots: 9 (Evans 4, Jefferson 3, Carroll, Foye). Turnovers: 17 (Hayward 4, Foye 3, Burks 2, Millsap 2, Tinsley 2, Ma.Williams 2, Carroll, Jefferson). Steals: 3 (Carroll, Foye, Kanter). Technical Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb

L.A.C. Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

Butler 24:54 4-10 0-0 0-1 1 1 8

Griffin 28:33 11-20 1-3 1-5 5 3 23

Jordan 27:47 3-9 5-13 7-16 0 2 11

Paul 24:54 3-6 0-0 0-4 9 2 6

Green 19:56 2-4 2-2 0-1 0 2 7

Bledsoe 25:05 4-10 3-4 0-2 2 2 11

Barnes 23:06 2-8 0-0 1-7 1 2 5

Crawfrd 26:46 4-10 10-11 0-2 3 3 18

Hollins 20:13 1-3 2-4 4-5 1 3 4

Turiaf 18:46 1-2 1-2 1-3 1 1 3

Totals 240:00 35-82 24-39 14-46 23 21 96

Percentages: FG .427, FT .615. 3-Point Goals: 2-10, .200 (Barnes 1-3, Green 1-3, Bledsoe 0-1, Butler 0-1, Crawford 0-1, Paul 0-1). Team Rebounds: 16. Team Turnovers: 12 (12 PTS). Blocked Shots: 12 (Hollins 5, Jordan 3, Turiaf 2, Bledsoe, Paul). Turnovers: 12 (Bledsoe 4, Jordan 4, Barnes, Crawford, Griffin, Hollins). Steals: 13 (Griffin 5, Butler 2, Jordan 2, Barnes, Crawford, Paul, Turiaf). Technical Fouls: Griffin, 1:32 third.

Utah 23 25 16 30 — 94

L.A. Clippers 21 13 34 28 — 96

Attendance • 14,617 Time • 2:23. Officials • David Jones, Pat Fraher, Scott Twardoski.