SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz are peaking at the right time.
Donovan Mitchell broke former Weber State star Damian Lillard’s record for most three-pointers made by a rookie in NBA history, as the Utah Jazz moved up to the 3-seed with a dominating 119-79 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Mitchell scored 22 points, including his record-breaking 186th three-pointer of the season, as the Jazz built a lead as high as 45 points in moving up to the third seed.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, Mitchell said about the record. “To be honest with you, I’m really focused on Portland. We had a good win tonight but we really want to get the three seed and stay there. So we want to play as hard as we can against Portland but it hasn’t really sunk in just yet. Dame is a good friend of mine, like a mentor kind of, so to be able to be up there with him is awesome.”
“The best thing about Donovan breaking the record is that he doesn’t really care about records,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “I think the record that Donovan cares about is our team’s record. You know, obviously we’re thrilled for him that he did that.”
The Jazz (48-33) have won six games in a row, and can lock down the 3-seed with a win over Portland tomorrow night. A loss and a Oklahoma City win over Memphis, and the Jazz would fall to the 5th seed. A loss and a Memphis win would enable the Jazz to get home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with the 4-seed.
The Jazz dominated from the start, racing out to a 33-16 lead at the end of the first quarter, as Mitchell led the way with 12 points.
Utah stretched the lead to 29 at the half, and cruised the rest of the way.
Derrick Favors had 16 points and 9 rebounds. Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio each had 13 points, while Jonas Jerebko and Jae Crowder came off the bench to score 14 and 11 points respectively.
Utah shot 53 percent from the field, while holding the Warriors to just 35 percent shooting. Golden State, who had already locked up the 2-seed, played their final regular season game without Stephen Curry and Andre Iguoadala.
The winner of Wednesday’s Utah-Portland game will take the Midwest Division title and the 3-seed in the Western Conference playoffs.