In their second game of an all-important four game West Coast road swing, the New Jersey Nets dropped a tough one to the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, 98-88.
The matchup of two elite point guards, Deron Williams and Devin Harris, highlighted this game. Both finished with eight assists, but Williams outscored Harris 23 to 17 to aid in Utah’s victory.
The Nets found themselves in foul trouble early for the second straight game. Though Kris Humphries recorded four rebounds in the first five minutes, he was forced to take a seat due to his two fouls.
Both teams struggled from the field early, with the Nets taking a 25-24 lead after the first quarter.
The Jazz caught fire early in the second quarter led by Paul Millsap, while New Jersey regressed slightly. Turnovers plagued the Nets in this quarter: They had seven turnovers in the quarter and nine overall in the half. Utah led 53-47 at halftime.
Brook Lopez looked great in the first half, scoring 17 points, while Anthony Morrow knocked in 10. Millsap led the Jazz at half with 13 points.
Early in the third quarter, all five Jazz starters were in double figures. Williams constantly set up his teammates with great looks, and with the Nets in foul trouble, the Jazz buried them at the free throw line.
Morrow finished with 24 points, 11 of which came in the third quarter, but the inconsistency between him and Travis Outlaw continues. When one player shines, the other is nowhere to be found. The trend continued tonight as Outlaw only had three points.
Humphries has another great night, pulling down 15 rebounds.
Though the Jazz led by as many as 13, the Nets were able to cut the lead to five late in the fourth quarter. They had so many chances but could not capitalize.
Lopez fouled out, and that pretty much signaled the end for New Jersey. Though currently sitting at 4-7, Avery Johnson has this team playing competitive basketball again which will pay off in the long run.
Millsap finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds and was the only player to record a double-double.
The Nets continue their road trip against the Sacramento Kings, who they beat already this season, Friday night at 10:00 p.m.