Gordon Hayward has been the Jazz’s best all-around player this season.
He watched most of the fourth quarter, however, during Brooklyn’s 105-99 victory on Wednesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
» Gordon Hayward plays only the final 3:27 of Brooklyn’s 105-99 win over the Jazz.
» The Nets took control with a 10-4 run after Utah had tied the game with 6:54 left.
» Alec Burks finishes with a team-high 23 points and three assists.
Was Hayward upset?
It didn’t sound like it.
"I wasn’t really knocking down shots," Hayward said. "I wasn’t really doing that much for us. So it was a good coaching decision."
Hayward finished with only nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.
In the fourth quarter, he watched the first 8:33 before re-entering the game.
Three minutes earlier, Utah was locked in an 84-84 tie with Brooklyn. But by the time Hayward returned, the Nets had used a 10-4 run to take control against a line-up that included Alec Burks, Trey Burke, Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Enes Kanter.
Although Hayward was struggling on offense, the Jazz missed his defense during the critical stretch.
Brooklyn’s primary perimeter players -- Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston -- scored seven of the 10 points.
Livingston set up the other basket with a drive-and-kick to Mirza Teletovic, who buried a wide-open three-pointer when the Jazz defense collapsed.
When asked if the Jazz could have used Hayward’s defense, Corbin credited the experienced Nets for creating and capitalizing on Utah’s breakdowns.
"We need all our guys to be effective, especially against a veteran team like this group tonight," Corbin said. "These guys, man, you make a mistake and they take advantage of it."
Asked specifically if Hayward could have helped defend the perimeter, Corbin said, "It gives is versatility when all our guys are playing well. If a guy’s not feeling good about his game, then it throws us off a little bit, especially with Derek [Favors] out of the line-up."
Favors missed the game because of a sprain hip.
On offense, the Jazz put the ball in Burks’ hands nearly every time down the floor during crunch time.
He finished with a team-high 23 points and three assists, although Utah committed five of its 18 turnovers in the fourth quarter, including two in a row when Brooklyn owned a 89-86 lead.
At times, it appeared the Jazz’s offense stagnated as the other players seemed to watch Burks try to create something going to the rim.
But Corbin liked Burks’ performance.
"He does a really good job for us," the Jazz coach said. "That’s a big part of who we are. ... He’s found his groove. We need to continue for him to find that groove."
Against Philadelphia just before the All-Star break, Burks scored 10 straight points in the final minutes to seal the Jazz’s 105-100 victory.Next Page >
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