Jazz rally for 119-114 win over Nets
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah survived a sluggish start by putting together a dominant finish against Brooklyn.
The Jazz clamped down defensively during critical stretches in the fourth quarter of a 119-114 win over the Nets on Tuesday night. Utah allowed a single basket over the final three minutes and pushed the pace on offense just enough to pull ahead for good in the last minute.
It ultimately helped the Jazz complete a rally from a 15-point deficit.
“They came out and they hit us first, but we came in and understood what we needed to do,” Mitchell said. “We picked it up on the defensive end and made it tougher on them and we were able to get stops and then run.”
Mitchell scored 30 points to lead Utah. Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 15 rebounds. Mike Conley also chipped in 18 points.
Utah went ahead for good after Gobert scored on back-to-back possessions in the final 90 seconds. Gobert’s second basket, a dunk, gave the Jazz a 116-114 lead with 55.6 seconds remaining.
Irving missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds left. Conley and Mitchell hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final seconds to close it out.
“They made some hustle plays, of course, off my misses down the stretch,” Irving said. “We had a good chance down the stretch, a good look at the rim from the 3-point line . but things happen in the basketball world, you just gotta live with it.”
Irving finished with 27 points to lead Brooklyn. Spencer Dinwiddie added 21 points off the bench. DeAndre Jordan added 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds.
The Jazz looked flat taking the court after playing on the road at Golden State the night before. Brooklyn took advantage and built a double-digit lead before halftime.
Jarrett Allen made two free throws and scored on a second-chance dunk to cap a 19-7 run that gave the Nets a 55-43 lead late in the second quarter. Brooklyn led 68-53 when Prince and Irving made back-to-back baskets in the final minute before halftime.
“We weren’t defending the way that we could and also we were sluggish offensively,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We just had to be sharper mentally.”
Utah roared to life in the third. The Jazz opened the quarter on a 13-0 run. Conley stole the ball and fed it to Bogdanovic for a layup to cap the run and cut Brooklyn’s lead to 68-66. The Nets went four minutes without making a field goal before Irving broke the drought with back-to-back baskets.
Brooklyn appeared on the verge of pulling away when Jordan sank two free throws to help the Nets go ahead 92-84 heading into the fourth quarter. Green and Mudiay combined for six straight baskets to open the quarter and pushed Utah to a 103-98 lead with 7:52 left.
Mudiay finished with 15 points and Jeff Green added 13. 19 of their 28 points came early in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we had two bad stretches: the beginning of the third quarter, beginning of the fourth quarter,” Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Those are the two bad stretches and against an excellent team, our margin is very small, especially on the road.”
Utah attacked Irving defensively by rotating between Royce O’Neale and Joe Ingles onto him. O’Neale guarded the Nets point guard to start the game and Ingles took over down the stretch. They were able to limit him to 10-of-30 shooting - including just 2-of-12 from the perimeter.
Irving went 2-of-11 from the field in the fourth quarter and didn’t make a basket over the final seven minutes.
“I felt like I had some great looks at the 3-point line,” he said. “The whole night, I just felt like I had some great looks. I’m gonna shoot it better. If I make ’em, it’s a different story.”
Utah took the court less than 24 hours after earning a road win against the Warriors. The Jazz didn’t arrive in Salt Lake until 4 am and the fatigue was evident in the early part of the game.
By halftime, Utah was shooting just 40% from the field and was 1-of-13 from 3-point range. In the second half, the Jazz shot 53% from the field and went 5-of-13 from outside.
“It took us a while to wake up,” Conley said. “We did a good job of handling it and it was just a good overall win despite everything else.”
Nets: Caris LaVert sat out with a sprained right thumb. ... Jordan dished out a season-high four assists. He also had 12 defensive rebounds, the most of any Nets player in a single game this season. ... Brooklyn went 5 of 10 from 3-point range in the first quarter.
Jazz: Tony Bradley earned a flagrant foul for a reckless closeout on Dinwiddie with 39.4 seconds left in the third quarter. ... Conley, Mitchell and Joe Ingles combined to go 0 of 14 from 3-point range. ... Green accounted for all three Jazz 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. ... Utah outscored Brooklyn 56-52 in the paint. . Mitchell had his third 30-point game of the season.
Nets play at Denver on Thursday.
Jazz play at Memphis on Friday.
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