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Utah's defense shuts down Wizards, 116-95
The Jazz came into Monday’s trip to Washington on a three-game winning streak at the outset of a four-game trip East, and they started on the right foot. The Wizards were overmatched on their home floor against a suffocating Utah defense, struggling to gain momentum en route to a 116-95 loss in D.C.
Washington shot just 42% from the field and 29.6%from 3-point range Monday, unable to score more than 26 points in any quarter. Conversely, the Jazz were efficient offensively, shooting 53.8% (including 14 3-pointers) and outscoring the Wizards 58-40 in the paint. They did it by controlling the boards and using a balanced attack, with Donovan Mitchell’s 19 points leading five double-digit scorers. Joe Ingles scored 16 (4-of-8 from 3-point range), while Jae Crowder led the second unit with 18 and Rudy Gobert added a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds).
Eight different Jazz players scored in the first quarter as Utah made paint scoring its usual priority from the jump. Trevor Ariza scored 10 of his 12 points in the first, but the Wizards couldn’t keep up and crack the code of the Jazz’s tough defense. Jabari Parker’s 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench paced the Wizards on the night, while Bradley Beal scored 15.
A 9-0 Jazz run at the end of the first half was the turning point in the game, as Washington had trailed by only a couple of possessions for most of the second. Utah used the run – fueled by Crowder and Gobert – to take a 12-point lead into the break, their biggest of the game at that point. It came at an especially bad time for the Wizards, who scored just 21 points in the frame.
From halftime on, Crowder, Mitchell and the Jazz blew the game open with a 10-0 run towards the end of the third that turned a 14-point Wizards deficit into 24 with just 1:50 left in the period. The Jazz would lead by as many as 25 by the end of the night, with Washington unable to get any closer than down 17 for the rest of the game.
A one-stop trip to Chicago is next for the Wizards to start yet another back-to-back set. Tip-off against the Bulls on Wednesday night is set for 8:00 P.M. ET.