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The Roundup—Bogdanović bounces back, leads Jazz past Cavs
The Utah Jazz traveled to Cleveland and tipped off their four-game road trip with a 126-113 victory over the Cavaliers Monday night.
Utah (38-22) has now won two straight games after losing four in a row.
"I think we've talked a lot about spacing and playing with the pass," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. "It was good to see us try to get out in transition. A lot of the passing was for catch-and-shoot threes, and I think we did a good job attacking the rim to generate some of that, too."
The Jazz took control in the second quarter and never let up, leading by as many as 18 in the 13-point win.
Bojan Bogdanović led the Jazz with a game-high 28 points, while Rudy Gobert stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points (on 8-for-9 shooting), nine rebounds, two steals and five blocks.
Donovan Mitchell finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, Mike Conley added 15 points and six assists, and Royce O'Neale chipped in 12 points. Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 13 points in 25 minutes against his former team.
"We played really good defense and controlled the defensive boards," Bogdanović said. "This was a great way to start this tough road trip."
Second-year guard Collin Sexton—the No. 8 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft—set a new career high with 32 points on 11-for-17 shooting. Sexton entered the game leading the Cavs in scoring at 20.0 points per game.
Cleveland (17-44) played without its top two centers, Andre Drummond (calf) and Tristan Thompson (knee). Kevin Love moved over from his regular power forward spot and finished with 22 points and nine rebounds.
Monday's Best: Bojan Bogdanović
Bogdanović, who had shot only 18-for-58 (31.0 percent) in five games since the All-Star break, broke out with 28 points—his most since he scored 30 on January 27. The Croatian sharpshooter shot 10-for-19 from the field and 5-for-10 from three, and he added seven rebounds, six assists (a new season high) and a steal in 34 minutes.
After a back-and-forth start, the teams alternated runs, with Utah scoring nine straight near the end of the first quarter before Cleveland answered with a 22-8 run to take a six-point lead midway through the second period. The Jazz proceeded to close the half on an 18-4 run. Bogdanović hit a mid-range jumper and Gobert threw down a two-handed dunk off a pass from Mitchell. Another bucket each by Bogdanović and Gobert put Utah up by two, and then Mitchell scored four straight. A 3-pointer by Conley beat the halftime buzzer and put Utah up by eight at the break.
Finding Big Fellapic.twitter.com/XmHmJ2WOza— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 3, 2020
The Jazz kept that momentum in the third quarter, beginning the period on a 6-0 run (behind two straight jumpers from Mitchell) to take a 14-point lead. Utah would lead by at least nine points the rest of the way.
Utah was on fire from deep, shooting 20-for-41 (48.8 percent) from behind the arc. Bogdanović (5-for-10), O'Neale (4-for-6), Clarkson (3-for-4), Mitchell (3-for-7), Conley (2-for-6) and Georges Niang (2-for-6) all made multiple threes. The Jazz are now 20-2 this season when they shoot at least 40 percent from 3-point range.
The Jazz dished out 30 assists on 47 made baskets, with Joe Ingles (eight), Conley (six), Bogdanović (six) and Mitchell (four) leading the way.
Ball security continued to be a problem as the Cavaliers scored 21 points off of Utah's 15 turnovers. Cleveland only committed seven turnovers.
The Jazz shot 56.6 percent from the field. ... Utah outrebounded Cleveland 47-36. ... Former Jazz guard Danté Exum (ankle) missed his fourth straight game for the Cavs. ... Cleveland outscored Utah 18-7 in transition. ... Gobert has blocked at least five shots seven times this season. ... The Jazz currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference standings. ... The Cavs have now lost three straight games.
The Jazz will stay on the road to face New York Knicks on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 5:30pm MT.