Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green spark second-half rally to help the Utah Jazz beat the Brooklyn Nets
If Donovan Mitchell had a box score in his hand in the locker room, he would have seen a double-double from Rudy Gobert, another good night from Mike Conley, and a gigantic 30 in the points column next to his own name.
But Mitchell didn’t need the stat sheet to know what turned a 15-point halftime deficit into a 119-114 victory for the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night. When things looked dire for a Jazz team on the second night of a back-to-back, it was the second unit that came to the rescue.
Guard Emmanuel Mudiay and forward Jeff Green came off the bench to combine for 23 points in the second half helping the Jazz rally to victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
“It’s safe to say without their push, we don’t win this game,” Mitchell said.
The Jazz landed back in Salt Lake City at about 2:45 a.m. after playing Monday night in San Francisco, and the team’s play looked it in the first half. So with the squad trailing by double-digits at halftime, Mudiay and Green wanted to provide a spark.
“We just wanted to bring energy,” Green said. “We wanted to come in and try to affect the game on defense first and then get out in transition. We’re both good in the open court and we took advantage of that.”
Mudiay pushed the pace and put pressure on the basket.
“That’s when that second unit is at its best,” said Mudiay, who finished with 15 points, three boards and two assists in 18 minutes. “When we’re running the floor and trying to make plays for each other.”
Green, meanwhile, knocked down a trio of second-half triples and finished the game with 13 points and four rebounds.
“What those guys did was tremendous,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “That’s not just what you want, but what you appreciate about the guys that are coming off the bench. They came in and made plays for each other, they guarded, and they really played for one another.
“I thought they didn’t force themselves on the game and that group played well together. Obviously, Jeff and Emmanuel being able to make those plays was probably the biggest reason we win the game.”
The Jazz got an equally important contribution from their Sixth Man, Joe Ingles, despite an off shooting night from the Aussie wing. Ingles missed all six of the shots he took on Tuesday night but delivered in crunch time when he was asked to shadow Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving down the stretch.
“I’m glad I got to get back out there and do something to try to help the team win,” Ingles said. “I knew once I went back in … that I could try to contribute in some way and that was it.”
After playing 71 minutes in 24 hours, Mitchell was especially grateful for the depth of his squad.
“That’s what they give us, that spark,” he said. “It’s always there. They’re always ready. That’s going to be huge, especially late in the season. And it’s great for nights like tonight.”