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The Roundup—Jazz 116, Wizards 69
And people were worried about how the Jazz would play once Rudy Gobert returned to the lineup!
Playing with their All-NBA center for the first time in nearly a month, the Jazz put an absolute beatdown on the Washington Wizards, jumping out to a 34-point lead at halftime and coasting to a 116-69 victory Monday night in Salt Lake City.
Utah (13-11) has now won six consecutive games.
Alec Burks came off the bench to score a team-high 27 points for the Jazz, while Donovan Mitchell added 21 points in 26 minutes. The rookie didn't play in the fourth quarter.
Joe Ingles and Royce O'Neale (11 points each) were the only other Jazz players to score in double figures. O'Neale added seven rebounds, a team-high six assists and one steal in 25 minutes.
Gobert finished with four points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in 21 minutes.
Otto Porter Jr. led the way with 14 points for the Wizards (12-11), who came out flat and got worse from there in the first stop of a five-game road trip.
Burks finished with an efficient 27 points (9-for-13 from the field, 6-for-6 from the line), marking his third straight game with at least 24 points. He consistently kept the defense off balance, getting to the hoop for several acrobatic layups and also shooting 3-for-5 from 3-point range. He added four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 28 minutes. Burks checked out at the 6:11 mark of the fourth quarter to a HUGE roar ... of fans who were cheering wildly in hopes that Washington's Chris McCullough would miss his second straight free throw so everyone in attendance could get a free Chick-fil-A sandwich. McCullough quieted the crowd by making his shot, but that doesn't change the fact that Burks played a great game.
The Jazz absolutely blitzed the Wizards early thanks in large part to the combination of Gobert and Mitchell. Gobert drove to the hoop for a nifty layup, grabbed five rebounds, dished a wrap-around assist to Derrick Favors and blocked a shot—all in the game's first five minutes. Mitchell, meanwhile, made his first five shots for a quick 11 points as the Jazz jumped out to a 29-15 lead after one quarter.
And, as improbable as it seemed, the Jazz played EVEN BETTER in the second quarter—and it was truly a total team effort. Utah outscored the Wizards 35-15 in the second period as all 10 Jazz players who saw the court finished the first half with at least one assist and three points. Thabo Sefolosha got out in transition. Mitchell drove straight through Washington's "defense" for layups and dunks. Favors rocked the rim with a dunk of his own. O'Neale, Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Raul Neto drilled 3-pointers. Burks added a bucket. Ricky Rubio converted an up-and-under layup for a three-point play. Everything was working as the entire first half turned into one big highlight for the Jazz, who took a ridiculous 34-point lead into halftime.
The Jazz held the Wizards to only 28.7 percent shooting, which was the seventh-best defensive game (as measured by opponent FG%) in franchise history.
Utah's reserves dominated their Washington counterparts, outscoring the Wizards' bench 67-28. Burks (27 points) and O'Neale (11 points) led the way as everyone else who came off the bench—Sefolosha (nine points), Neto (eight points), Jerebko (six points) and Ekpe Udoh (six points)—scored at least six points.
Utah's offense kept on humming at an NBA-leading pace as the Jazz scored 64 points (on 56.8 percent shooting) in the first half. They've now scored at least 55 points in a half nine times in their past six games.
Utah continued to fire away from deep, connecting on 16 of their 34 attempts from beyond the arc (47.1 percent). O'Neale (3-for-4), Ingles (3-for-5), Burks (3-for-5), Mitchell (3-for-6) and Jerebko (2-for-5) each made multiple triples.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"I think our players are playing the right way. ... We're moving the ball and we're spaced well. We have an unselfish team. Sometimes being unselfish isn't enough to be good, but it's a foundation."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Washington played without All-Star point guard John Wall (knee) for the fifth straight game. ... Rodney Hood (ankle), Joe Johnson (wrist) and Danté Exum (shoulder) remained out for the Jazz. ... The Jazz outscored the Wizards 50-24 in the paint and 18-4 in transition. ... Three Washington players (Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre Jr.) scored 11 points. ... Utah outrebounded Washington 52-31. ... The Jazz dished out 29 assists.
The Jazz will hit the road for a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 6:00pm MT.