Mitchell Scores 35 To Power Jazz Past Nuggets
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz were able to pick up a 114-108 win over the Denver Nuggets in a wild game that featured a franchise record, two players getting ejected and a playoff-like atmosphere at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The Jazz were one three-pointer shy of the franchise record. They hit 19-of-46 from downtown.
Donovan Mitchell had 35 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists while tying a season-high with 6 three-pointers made on just 10 attempts. He is the first Jazz player to record back-to-back games of 35 points or more since Karl Malone in 1998.
Donovan Mitchell is the first Jazz player with consecutive 35-point games since Karl Malone in April 1998. pic.twitter.com/76cAA7tmp1
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 24, 2019
Ricky Rubio added 17 points and 6 assists, while Rudy Gobert recorded 15 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Nikola Jokic was fantastic for Denver with 28 points, 21 rebounds and 6 assists. Will Barton dropped 22 points to go with 9 rebounds off the bench.
Utah Gets Hot From Downtown In First Half
The Jazz started hot with Ricky Rubio finding Joe Ingles for a three-pointer. Rubio made a bucket and converted the three-point play with a made free-throw. Then Rubio found Gobert for an easy layup on a no-look pass. The Jazz were up 8-0 early into the game.
Rubio made his first three buckets including one three-pointer to have 8 points and 3 assists just five minutes into the game.
With 2:46 left in the first quarter and the Jazz holding a 25-14, Derrick Favors and Nuggets center Mason Plumlee were in an altercation with both players getting ejected.
Will Barton had a great second quarter with 12 points with 5 minutes left in the first half and Denver climbed back into the game to trail 46-42.
Utah was red hot from downtown, especially Mitchell. He hit three straight triples to keep the Jazz in front 55-50 with 2 minutes left in the first half.
The Jazz went to halftime with a 65-58 lead. They made a franchise record 13 three-pointers in 27 attempts. Mitchell finished with 16 first half points, including 4-for-5 from downtown.
Mitchell Carries Utah To Win
It was basically an even third quarter for the Jazz as they scored just one more point than the Nuggets. Utah made three more shots from downtown to put their total to 16 through three quarters.
Mitchell would get hot early in the fourth quarter scoring 8 of Utah’s first 10 points and he had 31 points with Utah leading 98-86 with 8 minutes remaining in the game.
Denver countered with a 5-0 run but a crazy sequence on the following play to take the momentum away from the Nuggets.
Mitchell drove to the basket and the Nuggets blocked his layup that launched to Korver in the corner who immediately hit Jae Crowder on the angle, who fired a three-pointer and nailed it while getting fouled.
Jokic made a three-pointer and a floater in the paint while Mitchell countered with a drive to the basket and Utah had a six point lead with three minutes left.
After that sequence, Crowder was fouled again while hitting a three-pointer but he missed the free-throw.
Barton made a bucket to put the Nuggets within four points with over one minute left. Gobert put the Jazz back up by six after making two critical free-throws.
Coming out of the timeout, the Jazz defense put the clamps down on the inbound pass and the Nuggets turned it over on a five second violation.
Mitchell blocked a shot on the defensive end and the Nuggets fouled him after the rejection. He hit just one of the two attempts at the line and Utah had a 114-107 lead with 41 seconds left.
Utah was able to hold on to a six-point win.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 24, 2019
Rudy Gobert is on track to beat Dwight Howard’s record for the most dunks in one season with 269 in the 2007-08 season. Gobert entered the night with a league-best 171 dunks and added 2 more slams to put his total at 173. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has 163 dunks this season. The Bucks did not have a game on Friday.
Utah improved to 27-22 on the season and have won 9 of their last 11 games.
They will face the Minnesota Timberwolves at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. on AT&T SportsNet. Minnesota is currently 23-24 on the season and have won their last two games and six of their last nine games.
The Timberwolves won the first meeting of the season on October 31 with a 128-125 victory at home. Derrick Rose scored a career-high 50 points in that game.
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