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Chicago Bulls 92 Utah Jazz 85 Game Recap

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Jazz lose in wire-to-wire fashion

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz thought they would be getting a boost tonight by bringing Gordon Hayward back to the active roster after two games, but instead they doomed themselves with lethargic play. The Chicago Bulls won a wire-to-wire victory 92-85 in what would normally be looked at as a winnable game. What else do you call it when the opposition starts Mike Dunleavy Jr., Taj Gibson, and Cristiano Felicio against Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert? It was a less than ideal situation on defense for Utah all game long as they seemed to have no answer for their pick and roll attack and the overall abundance of shot-making. (What is this witchcraft?) In a game where the refs are keeping teams off the line you have to adjust, and the Bulls found a way to shoot 48.8% while the Jazz managed only 40.7%. A big part of that low 40s number for the Jazz was a product of going 8/27 from deep -- for a sub 30% success rate from downtown. Gordon went 1/4, Joe Ingles went 1/5, and Trey Lyles, Trevor Booker, and Chris Johnson went a combine 0/4. And when you are trying to play from behind, taking and missing shots from three is only going to slow down your chase rate.

The Jazz just couldn't get it going. Maybe they should have gone to the line more than the 12 times they did, but it's not like they were helping themselves when they got there, shooting only 58.3% from the stripe. Favors went 2/5, Shelvin Mack went 3/4, and no one else really got there. Mack missing a single free throw isn't the difference in this game, and to his credit, he did finish with 15 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal while shooting nearly 50 FG%.

If we're pointing fingers I think it's not illegal to look at Rodney Hood and his streakiness. Jimmy Butler didn't shoot well in this game, but he found other things he could do out there on the court and helped his team. Butler finished with 13 points off of 6/14 shooting, but added 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and finished +5 in +/-. Rodney? The second year shooter had 14 points off of 5/17 shooting and went 3/10 from downtown. He added 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and finished -8. Part of being young is to be streaky. And part of who Hood is happens to be someone who can get hot, but thus also means he can be cold. We got a cold Rodney tonight and the results reflect that. And this is why I'm somewhat hesitant to put him in a position on our team where we have to absolutely depend on him.

Hayward didn't kill it either, shooting 4/13, and going 1/4 from deep, but he did also drop 5 dimes and grab some boards. But I shouldn't just point out that our starting wingplayers didn't have their best games. They aren't the only ones who didn't have the intensity needed to win games on the road -- Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert combined for 26 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks -- against freaking scrubs.This wasn't a tough night for them going up against Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah.

It's okay for your four best players to play well, especially against hurt teams. That didn't happen tonight.

It wasn't a good effort across the board and a bad start to a road trip -- this could have easily been a win, on a night where the Houston Rockets lose to the Atlanta Hawks. These opportunities aren't going to be there forever as there are now just 13 more games to play this season. The four game win streak is now over, and they'll get their first crack at starting a new one tomorrow night, on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks.