For one night, at least, two veteran point guards were better than one emerging star.
Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson were outstanding during the Jazz’s 109-98 win over Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers on Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena.
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Tinsley finished with 11 points and four assists. He did not commit a turnover in 22 minutes.
Watson did not score, but he tied a season high with nine assists and committed only two turnovers in 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, Irving finished with 18 points and nine assists. But he was only 7-for-20 from the field, including 3-for-11 in the first half.
Coach Tyrone Corbin praised Tinsley and Watson, who continue to play well in the absence of injured starter Mo Williams.
"Those guys have been super this year, especially since Mo went down," Corbin said. "They are older statesmen in this league and they know how to play. They do a great job of playing within who they are and getting us where we are trying to go on offense."
Reserves rev it up
Watson was part of a spirited effort by Utah’s non-starters, who scored 51 of the Jazz’s 109 points on 21 of 42 shooting.
Derrick Favors tied his season high with 19 points and eight rebounds.
"He had a great game for us," Corbin said.
DeMarre Carroll finished with 13 points and five rebounds.
"He gave us a great deal of energy," Corbin said.
Finally, Enes Kanter helped the Jazz dominate the middle against the Cavaliers, who were missing injured center Anderson Varejao.
Kanter scored 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting. He also grabbed five rebounds.
"He’s just big inside," Corbin said. "... He’s getting the ball in his spots and he’s getting a lot more patient. He’s waiting to see what he has as far as one-on-one opportunities are concerned and he’s finishing the play. He has shown great growth in that area."
The Jazz did not practice Sunday. They play Washington on Wednesday night. ... Utah went 6-for-16 from the 3-point line against the Cavs. As a team, the Jazz are making 37.3 percent of their 3-pointers. "It’s a great tool for us," said Corbin. ... Al Jefferson played a team-high 30 minutes against Cleveland. He posted his 20th double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
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