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The Roundup—Mitchell, Gobert lead Jazz past Nets

by matt payne

A sluggish start. A strong finish. A much-needed win.

Led by Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz tipped off their three-game road trip with a 101-91 victory over the Nets in Brooklyn Wednesday night.

"We defended and got stops. That's what it comes down to," Mitchell said after the game. "We did that against LA. We defended against Sacramento but had a letdown in the last game, so we knew we had to come out and stay strong for 48 minutes."

Gobert double-doubled with 23 points and 16 rebounds, while Mitchell, who grew up in nearby Greenwich, Connecticut, returned to the court after missing the past two games with a rib contusion. The second-year guard finished with a game-high 29 points (on 12-for-24 shooting) and added five rebounds and four steals in 36 minutes—all in front of about 250 family members and friends.

"It's just so much love. I love coming back home," Mitchell said. "I feel blessed to be able to play back home at this arena. I have no words for it."

Royce O'Neale (13 points) and Raul Neto (11 points) gave the Jazz (10-12) a big lift off the bench in the win.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored a team-high 18 points for the Nets (8-14), while three other Brooklyn players—D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson—added 14 points each in the loss.

Wednesday's Best

After two subpar efforts in his last three games (he averaged 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in Utah's last two losses) Gobert unleashed his 19th double-double of the season, finishing with 23 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, one steal and four blocks—the most since he swatted four shots on November 7 against the Mavericks. The Stifle Tower also finished with a net rating of +17 in 33 minutes.

Key Stretches

Neither team led by more than four points until the Nets took an 11-point lead thanks to 36 third-quarter points. Dinwiddie scored 14 points (and shot 6-fot-7 from the free-throw line) in the third period.

The Jazz, who entered the night ranked dead last in the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring, were up to the task, opening the final period on a quick 5-0 run thanks to a 3-pointer by Neto and a dunk by Derrick Favors. Utah then outscored Brooklyn 24-9 in the final eight minutes, with O'Neale adding five straight points before Mitchell (on a series of aggressive drives plus a crucial step-back three) and Gobert (with a tough layup and a spinning left-handed slam) combined to score the team's final 17 points to seal the victory.

Significant Stats

22

The Jazz turned the ball over 19 times (not great) but they also forced 20 Brooklyn turnovers, which led to 22 Utah points.

34.9

Utah held Brooklyn to only 34.9 percent shooting. The Nets shot 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) in the third quarter, but only 28.4 percent the rest of the game.

+20

Led by Gobert, who scored Utah's first eight points of the game on four dunks, Utah outscored Brooklyn 52-32 in the paint.

Coach's Quote of the Night

"We just need to keep trying to get better—it's that simple. That's not an easy task. It's a constant task. It takes focus and effort and practice and preparation. Our effort has never wavered, but we need to execute better. We didn't do as much we wanted to tonight, but it was a good step in that direction."

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

Notable

Joe Ingles, who finished with seven points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals, made his 530th career 3-pointer, tying him with Darrell Griffith for fourth place on the team's all-time list. ... Utah is now 8-6 on the road this season. ... Favors finished with nine points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. ... Utah shot 47.6 percent from the field. ... Each team grabbed 48 rebounds.

Up Next

The Jazz will travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Friday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00pm MT.