In suffering an embarrassing 94-83 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night at EnergySolutions Arena, the Utah Jazz turned in a team effort in futility, even inspiring the fans to head for the exits by the middle of the fourth quarter.
The play at point guard, however, was a glaring hole for a team lacking Mo Williams, its starter who is out indefinitely with a thumb injury.
Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson combined for the ugliest stat line of the night: Seven assists, seven turnovers, five rebounds and zero points in 48 minutes. Worse than that, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry had his way with the two, scoring 23 points in all and getting Golden State started with the first 11 of the game.
"We miss Mo a lot," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. "We miss his pace. He can attack the rim, take a shot, make a shot. And we just didn't get that tonight. It was a sluggish effort all night."
One that started with its floor leader.
Neither Tinsley nor Watson could get Utah into any kind of sustainable offensive flow. Neither one of them got to the basket off the dribble, or forced the hand of Golden State's defense with penetration. Without Williams in the lineup, the Warriors went to a zone defense for much of the second quarter, and the Jazz had no answers, with both point guards being non-shooters.
The two couldn't guard Curry, or his backup, Jarrett Jack, who scored 15 points and was stopped only by Derrick Favors, who briefly tangled with Jack during a first-half confrontation.
Tinsley has played well as a starter during his two seasons with the Jazz. And normally, the veteran is a master at distributing the ball and racking up assists. Against the Warriors though, he struggled. And the 0-for-5 shooting effort between the two hurt as nobody was there to pick up the slack.
"Stephen was tough to guard tonight," Watson said. "He got going early, and that hurt us. I think we really struggled as a team tonight. We didn't play well, and it showed for the entire game. I think every loss is alarming, so we have to take this loss, come out and play much better on Friday night."
Nothing to see here
• Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson combine to go 0 for 5 from the field.
• The two also combine for seven assists and seven turnovers.
• Both go scoreless for the game.