SALT LAKE CITY -- In terms of metrics, or analytics or even aesthetics, no, Monday's Utah Jazz-Charlotte Bobcats game at EnergySolutions Arena wasn't exactly a masterpiece.
But when it comes to putting a mark in the win column, yes, it was a thing of beauty for the Jazz, who earned an 83-80 victory over the Bobcats and former Jazzman Al Jefferson.
"Yeah, it was a good win for us," said guard Gordon Hayward, who was burdened with foul trouble and managed to score just nine points on 3-for-10 shooting. "(It was a) grind-it-out game but I like the way we fought and were able to get the win."
Utah (10-24) shot 34-for-80 from the field, just 42.5 percent, but practically looked like the Globetrotters compared to the Bobcats, who were 31-for-84 (36.9 percent, 34.2 in the first half).
At least part of the low score and lousy shooting can be attributed to the pace of the game, which fell somewhere between that of a snail and a gentle breeze. The two combatants combined for just 14 fastbreak points but 68 points in the paint, a clear indication it was a slugfest.
To their credit, the Jazz made the most of the slowdown style, which was highlighted by the play of their rookie point guard Trey Burke, who scored a game-high 21 points on 8-for-17 shooting.
Burke procured the win when, with the shot clock slipping away, he calmly drove in for a layup on Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker. The basket gave the Jazz an 80-77 lead with just 19 seconds remaining.
The Bobcats (14-18) got an odd-looking 3-point attempt from Jefferson - only the 44th in more than 650 career games - but it missed. Strangely, Big Al hit a buzzer-beating 3 a few seconds later - only the fourth of his career - but it hardly mattered.
"It was a hard-fought ballgame," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We ended up winning, we made some mistakes, but I think a lot of these games for these young guys (are about) learning how to finish games."
Corbin said he hoped his players were learning the importance of putting teams away when they're on the ropes. The Jazz won, of course, but blew a 14-point second-half lead along the way.
Utah led 63-53 to start the fourth quarter and saw the Bobcats take a one-point lead with 1:15 remaining.
The key score was Burke's, which was a beautiful play in an otherwise ugly game.
"There were about three or four seconds left on the shot clock," he explained. "I had shot that eight-foot jumpshot pretty much all night. I wasn't really driving a lot so in my mind I knew that (Walker) was going to go for it. If I would have shot (the jumper) it would have been a really contested shot. So I tried to get a better shot."
Not bad thinking for a rookie, veteran teammate Richard Jefferson said.
"That's how he got to be the national player of the year, that's how he got to the Final Four (in college last season)," he said. "I'm not surprised. He's shooting the ball well. He's still got a long way to go. I tell him that all the time."
In addition to Burke's numbers, the Jazz got 13 apiece from Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams and 14 off the bench from Alec Burks, who helped give Utah a critical boost in the first half when Hayward was on the bench with foul trouble.
Guard Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 19 points. Walker scored 18 as did Big Al, who also notched 10 rebounds.
He has scored at least 10 points and nine rebounds in his last 16 games dating back to Nov. 27.
"(The Jazz) made some tough shots down the stretch," he said. "They wanted it more than we did."
Apparently they did, and it didn't matter how ugly it got.
Contact reporter Jim Burton at 801-625-4265, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @StandardExJimbo.