Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images
The Roundup—Shorthanded Jazz hold of pesky Bulls for third straight win
It wasn't the smoothest sailing on Saturday night, but Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert came alive in the second half to lead the Jazz to a 110-102 victory over the Chicago Bulls in Salt Lake City.
Playing shorthanded once again without point guards Ricky Rubio (hamstring), Danté Exum (ankle) and Raul Neto (foot), the Jazz (23-21) outscored the Bulls 29-20 in the fourth quarter to clinch their fifth win in their last six games.
"We've got toughness. We've got chemistry," Utah's Kyle Korver said after the game. "It's hard to play basketball without a point guard—it's an important position. But a bunch of guys have stepped up. It wasn't pretty the whole time tonight, but winning the second game of a back-to-back is always big, so we'll take it and keep going."
Mitchell led the way with 34 points, while Gobert nearly had his first career triple-double. The Stifle Tower finished with 15 points, 16 rebounds and a career-high eight assists, along with one steal and two blocks in a team-high 40 minutes.
Korver and Joe Ingles chipped in 16 points each and combined to shoot 8-for-18 from 3-point range.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls (10-33) with 21 points on 7-for-21 shooting, while Lauri Markkanen added 16 points in the loss.
Mitchell notched his third straight game—and seventh of the season—with 30+ points, and he's averaging 30.4 points, 3.8 threes and 5.6 assists over his last five games. He shot 11-for-24 from the field and added six rebounds, six assists and two blocks against the Bulls. The Jazz are now 10-0 this season when Mitchell shoots at least 44 percent and dishes out at least five assists.
The Jazz took a 12-point lead in the first quarter thanks in large part to Ingles—who knocked down his first three 3-point attempts—and Mitchell, who drove to the hole for a layup and then curled around a screen and drilled a three.
The Bulls fought back, though, and took a two-point lead into halftime. Mitchell responded in a big way, opening the third quarter with five straight buckets—including two 3-pointers—to give the Jazz a four-point lead just five minutes into the second half. Ingles added a layup, while Royce O'Neale and Gobert each threw down two-handed dunks during that stretch. Korver added two straight threes to put Utah up by six with just over four minutes left in the third period.
Royce, rollin'pic.twitter.com/FYGLm7GR5g— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 13, 2019
After a 15-7 run gave the Bulls a two-point lead, Mitchell re-entered the game and immedately drained a fadeaway baseline jumper (from behind the backboard), and then Gobert convereted a three-point play to keep Utah rolling. Gobert and Mitchell scored another bucket each to put Utah up by three and force a Chicago timeout with 7:03 left in the game. A free throw by Mitchell, a mid-range jumper by Korver, and a contorting layup by Mitchell capped Utah's 14-4 run and put the Jazz up 97-89 midway through the final period.
Derrick Favors threw down an alley-oop slam, and then O'Neale and Ingles knocked down back-to-back threes to put the Jazz up by 13 with 2:22 left in the game.
Quin Snyder logged his 200th career victory tonight. Snyder took over as Utah's head coach on June 6, 2014 and has compiled a record of 200-172 (a .538 winning percentage) over the past four-plus seasons. Under Snyder's leadership, the Jazz have made two straight appearances in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Jazz set a new season high with 11 blocks. Gobert, Mitchell, O'Neale and Jae Crowder blocked two shots each, while rookie Grayson Allen registered his first career block early in the fourth quarter.
Utah attempted 45 3-pointers and made 16. Korver, Ingles and Mitchell made four threes each, while O'Neale knocked down two.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"Our fans have a connectivity with the team. Sometimes as a fan, you're just observing. I feel like our fans are participating and kind of living through it with us. If you're not playing good, it's hard for them too. Everybody feels pain. I think you see that more collegiately, so to have a team that's supported at that level and in that way is a pretty special deal for our guys. I've been doing this a little while, and you just don't see that everywhere. And you can feel it—it makes coming to work fun."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Korver moved past Jason Terry into fourth place on the NBA's all-time list of 3-pointers made. He's one three behind Golden State's Steph Curry. ... The Jazz are now 11-8 at home this season. ... The game featured 11 ties and 16 lead changes. ... Crowder continued to struggle, shooting 1-for-13 from the field, including 1-for-7 from 3-point range. He has now shot 11-for-52 (21.2 percent) from the field and 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) from beyond the arc over his past five games. ... The Bulls outscored the Jazz 54-32 in the paint. ... Chicago's Robin Lopez and Wendell Carter Jr. each picked up a technical foul in the second half. ... Utah outrebounded Chicago 52-47. O'Neale tied a career high with 11 rebounds.
The Jazz will stay at home to host the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Tipoff is set for 7pm MT.