Jazz rally in 4th quarter, edge Spurs for 10th straight win
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Donovan Mitchell found his shooting touch at the right time for the Utah Jazz.
Mitchell scored 25 points, including a go-ahead jumper with 39.2 seconds left, and Utah extended its NBA-best winning streak to 10 games with a 101-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.
Mitchell was just 9 for 28 from the field, but he delivered down the stretch. The rookie guard scored eight of Utah’s final nine points over the last 2:54 of the game. He hit a pair of go-ahead baskets and a free throw to give the Jazz the lead in the final minute after they trailed by as many as 13 points during the fourth quarter.
”You can’t think about the misses, that’s the biggest thing,” Mitchell said. ”I was continuing to stay locked in and just stay focused and understand the shots eventually were going to fall. Fortunately, they did.”
Joe Ingles added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Utah. Derrick Favors had 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
The Jazz (29-28) moved above .500 for the first time in more than two months. Defense played a big role in their latest victory.
Favors blocked a pair of shots in the final minute. San Antonio was unable to get a shot off after getting the ball back with 16.7 seconds left.
Kyle Anderson scored 16 points and Pau Gasol had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who lost to Utah for the third time this season.
”We were in the lead for most of the second half,” Gasol said. ”We just couldn’t finish it. We had some bad possessions offensively that led to opportunities for them.”
San Antonio went ahead 83-70 on a jumper by Bryn Forbes with 9:29 remaining. The Jazz chipped away before Ingles and Mitchell hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it at 87 with 4:53 left. The teams traded baskets from there until Mitchell sealed it in the final minute.
Utah used a 20-4 run in the second quarter to take its largest first-half lead at 54-42. San Antonio cut its deficit in half before halftime on layups by Gasol and Anderson.
In the third quarter, the Spurs used an 11-1 run to go back in front. Davis Bertans buried a 3-pointer to put San Antonio up 66-61.
The Jazz made 11 of 19 shots (57.9 percent) in the second quarter and just 4 of 22 attempts (18.2 percent) in the third.
”This is one of those games you’re fortunate to win,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”You have to catch some breaks. We just continued to compete. That’s really all it comes down to. When you do that, you put yourself in a position to catch a break.”
Spurs: F LaMarcus Aldridge (sore right knee) did not play. Aldridge leads San Antonio in scoring and rebounding. … The Spurs outscored the Jazz 54-40 in the paint. … Gasol recorded his 12th double-double of the season.
Jazz: G Ricky Rubio (left hip soreness) missed his second consecutive game. … Ingles scored 10 of Utah’s first 15 points. He set a career high in scoring in each of the previous two Jazz victories. … F Jae Crowder finished with 14 points in his first home game since he came over from Cleveland in a trade.
Utah’s Rudy Gobert found himself in an unusual spot in the final minutes. Gobert played just six minutes in the fourth quarter and watched from the bench while Favors finished out the game.
Gobert had 10 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 31 minutes. But Snyder decided to ride the hot hand down the stretch. Favors totaled eight points, five rebounds and two blocks in six minutes in the fourth. He had back-to-back layups that helped the Jazz keep pace when the Spurs tried to pull away.
Snyder asked Gobert if he wanted to go back in the game at one point, but the Jazz center deferred to Favors. He did appreciate being consulted about the crunch-time decision.
”I don’t know if there’s a lot of coach-player relationships like we have,” Gobert said. ”He trusted me from the beginning, so I trust him too.”
OUTSIDE SHOOTING WOES
San Antonio hung tough while playing short-handed because of injuries. But the Spurs were hurt by a rough night on the perimeter, going 6 for 25 from 3-point range.
”We just have to figure out a way to win,” guard Tony Parker said. ”We were up 13. We had a good chance, but we didn’t make the shots in the end.”
Spurs: Travel to Denver to face the Nuggets on Tuesday.
Jazz: Host the Suns on Wednesday.