SALT LAKE CITY -- One positive side effect has materialized for the Utah Jazz from battling injuries early in the season. The Jazz bench is stronger and ready to make major contributions than at any time in the past few seasons.Utah will need those contributions when it hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.Eleven different players have started two or more games for Utah this season. Those eleven players are all averaging at least 18 minutes on the court per game. What it means for the Jazz is that they are a team thats can utilize a bench flush with players already used to playing major minutes together.It helps, guard Rodney Hood said. When you got a guy thats playing starter minutes, and then he goes back to the second unit, hes definitely much better and much more confident in certain situations. It will be great to see how it comes to fruition.The bench played a key part in helping Utah overwhelm Oklahoma City 109-89 on Wednesday night. The Jazz outscored the Thunder 45-38 in bench points. Utahs second unit shot 17-for-28 (60.7 percent) from the field -- including 7-of-9 from 3-point range.Reserve guards Joe Ingles and Shelvin Mack did the most damage. The duo combined for 26 points on 9 of 11 shooting, nine rebounds and eight assists.Such hot shooting is not a new development. As a team, Utah (16-10) ranks fourth in the NBA in field goal percentage (.468). The Jazz shot 42 of 72 (58.3 percent) from the field against Oklahoma City.Its nice to see it go down for everyone, Ingles said. It gives everyone else confidence. We started out moving the ball, got some good looks early and it continued for the (whole) game. When you got a team thats so unselfish, and everyone moves the ball, it makes life easy.Stopping Utahs hot shooting offense will certainly be a chore for the Mavericks. Dallas could not do it in a 97-81 loss to the Jazz on Nov. 2. Playing without injured leading scorer Gordon Hayward, Utah shot 12 of 25 (48 percent) from 3-point range and led by as many as 20 points in the contest.It doesnt help that the Mavericks are being attacked by the injury bug. Dallas (6-19) is playing without Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles strain), Andrew Bogut (knee) and J.J. Barea (calf strain). Salah Mejri could be joining them on the sidelines after leaving during the fourth quarter of Wednesday nights 95-85 loss to the Detroit Pistons.Nowitzki has been out 17 games, Barea has been sidelined for 14 games and Bogut has been out for four contests. Deron Williams also missed eight games with a calf strain earlier in the season. The lack of healthy players has made it tough for Dallas to generate positive momentum.It showed against the Pistons. Detroit overcame a 12-point deficit in the third quarter, and a season-high 19 turnovers, to run away from the Mavericks.Obviously, its frustrating, guard Wesley Matthews said. We fought hard tonight, but a couple of sloppy plays, scoring drought, and it wasnt from a lack of effort. Well look at where things went wrong and get ready to go back and get it back in Utah.Dallas has won 10 of the last 13 games with Utah overall. The Jazz hold the upper hand recently, however, winning two of the last three in the series. Jacob Trouba Stanley Cup Jersey
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. Artturi Lehkonen, Joni Nikko and Ville Leskinen had the other goals for Finland (1-0) while Juuse Saros stopped 28 shots. Tim Robin Johnsgard had the lone goal for Norway (0-2). NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Ben Lovejoy?and?center Vernon Fiddler and re-signed three players in a big start to free agency.General manager Ray Shero announced the moves Friday, adding that defenseman Jon Merrill and forwards Beau Bennett and Devante Smith-Pelly were re-signed.Lovejoy got a three-year, $8 million contract that will count $2.67 million against the salary cap through the 2018-19 season. Hell make $2.5 million next season and in 2017-18 and $2.75 million in the final year of the contract.Fiddler, who played in all 82 games for the Dallas Stars last season and had 12 goals and 10 assists, got a one-year contract worth $1.25 million.The 32-year-old Lovejoy won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played in all 24 playoff games and had two goals and four assists.In coming to New Jersey, Lovejoy is reunited with his former general manager in Pittsburgh (Shero) and his minor league coach John Hynes, the Devils current head coach.Lovejoy said he had a lot of teams offering him contracts.The Devils were a situation where I was comfortable, Lovejoy said. I told teams all along that I didnt need to hit a home run. I wanted to come to a place where I felt wanted, where I was comfortable. I wanted to live and play on a team that was good, and I think the Devils were a perfect spot for me.The Devils did not give Merrill, Smith-Pelly and Bennett qualifying contract offers on Monday, but Shero was confident he would re-sign them.The 24-year-old Merrill received a two-year contract that will pay him $1 million this season and $1.275 million in 2017-18. He has appeared in 165 games with the Devils, scoring five goals and 25 assists. This past season, he had one goal and four assists in 47 games.ddddddddddddSmith-Pelly, who was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in late February for former first-round pick Stefan Matteau, also got a two-year contract that will pay him $1.25 million this season and $1.35 million in 2017-18.Smith-Pelly set career highs with 14 goals and 11 assists in 64 combined games this season. He had eight goals and five assists in 18 games with New Jersey.I came in right away and the coaches put a lot of responsibility on me, Smith-Pelly said in a conference call. I thought I responded pretty well and it was a good spot. Ive bounced around with a couple of teams the past couple of years, I got some traction here and have a chance to stay at a spot thats [good].Bennett got a one-year, one-way, $725,000 contract. He was acquired last weekend from Pittsburgh for a 2016 third-round pick at the draft.Lovejoy replenishes New Jerseys blue line after the Devils traded Adam Larsson to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday for left wing Taylor Hall. Hall gives the Devils their best scoring threat in years.The Devils also signed defensemen Karl Stollery and Andrew MacWilliam and right wing Carter Camper to a one-year, two-way contracts worth $575,000 each at the NHL level.MacWilliam, 26, spent last season with Manitoba (AHL) scoring one goal and 14 assists in 72 games.Camper, who will turn 28 on July 6, spent last season with Hershey (AHL), getting nine goals and 25 assists in 64 games.Stollery, 28, spent last season with San Jose (AHL) getting six goals and 18 assists and 65 penalty minutes in 67 games. Stitched Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2020 Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Cheap Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Cheap NFL Jerseys China
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