Short bench a problem for Jazz in loss to Thunder
The Jazz played without rotation regulars Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Marvin Williams on Tuesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
With Kanter sidelined because of a dislocated shoulder, Burks out with a sprained ankle and Williams sent home with a stomach ailment, coach Tyrone Corbin used only eight players in a 90-80 loss to Oklahoma City.
It was the first time since April 13, 2011 in a game against Denver nearly two years ago that Corbin used only three players off his bench.
Derrick Favors was the most productive non-starter. He finished with eight points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots in 29 minutes.
But DeMarre Carroll had three points on 1-for-6 shooting in 23 foul-plagued minutes, and Jamaal Tinsley was scoreless in 11 minutes.
Tinsley contributed four assists and three rebounds, but Utah's shortened bench did not provide the kind of boost that had helped propel the Jazz to seven wins in the previous eight games.
"We trust all our guys," Corbin said. "â¦ Hopefully we'll get some guys back in a few days and go from there."
In the Jazz's last two games against Oklahoma City, Carroll had some success in frustrating Durant. They each were given technical and flagrant fouls, though there was no carryover in this game.
"Durant spoke, but it wasn't anything like that," Carroll said. "So we're good. We're competitors and I think he did a good job. He knew we were going to be physical so he passed the ball a lot. He did a good job and showed he is a true superstar."
Besides a lack of contribution by their shortened bench, the Jazz were doomed by 17 turnovers and a lack of aggressiveness to the basket.
Utah shot only three free throws in the first half and 14 in the game, running its three-game total to only 32.
"I think the turnovers were the key for us," said Corbin, who credited Oklahoma City's pressure for some of them.
"That's a good defensive team. They got their hands on us. They got us off our spots. We tried to get the ball where we wanted it to go and made mistakes. We just have to learn from it and move on."
Said Carroll: "I think it was just us. We really weren't executing our plays. We didn't come out like we should have, with aggressiveness and fire."
Asked about his team's recent inability to get to the free-throw line, Corbin grimaced.
"We're capable of making jump shots," he said. "But we have to make sure we go inside first and try to put pressure on them to stop us at the rim before we take jump shots especially when we're not making them."
The Jazz took 25 3-point shots against the Thunder. Gordon Hayward was 2 for 7, Mo Williams was 2 for 7, and Randy Foye was 2 for 6.
Inside, Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka blocked five shots.
"When you have Ibaka down there blocking a lot of shots, it kind of alters your offense a little bit," said Carroll. "I think that's what we should have [done]. We should have gone right at him instead of settling for jumpers."
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