“Nothing worked at the beginning of the game,” Millsap said.
Corbin inserted Hayward midway through the first quarter. The guard, who came off the bench eight times last season, flourished. He scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half.
“We were able to get the ball in his hands and he made plays in that second quarter especially,” Corbin said. “He was more aggressive and that’s what I wanted to see. He helped us hang in there when things weren’t going well.”
An alley-oop from Mo Williams to Hayward in the second quarter put the Jazz up 27-23, their largest lead of the first half.
The Jazz still have plenty of issues to work out, and they aren’t erased by a win, and Corbin’s postgame assessment was far from an endorsement.
“I don’t think defensively we’re on the same page,” Corbin said. “Offensively, we didn’t get the ball where we wanted. It’s the last game of a four-game road trip and you’re typically low on energy. We played last night, but we just didn’t execute on either end of the floor as well I thought we would.”
But for the Jazz, there was a renewed sense of optimism in the locker room. Splitting the road trip took frantic overtime heroics in Toronto and a sloppy one in Washington in which they were out-slopped. But the Jazz, who return to Salt Lake City for two home games this week, believe they can build on it.
“We wish we could have won some more games,” Favors said, “but two out of four is not that bad.”
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