SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Even when the Utah Jazz are not at their best, they are still capable of pulling out gritty wins.
Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points and the Utah Jazz beat the Chicago Bulls 113-106 on Friday night for their 21st straight victory at home, a franchise record.
Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 13 rebounds as Utah (37-11) won its eighth in a row overall despite getting outscored 68-40 in the paint. Jordan Clarkson scored 19 off the bench. Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points and a season-high eight rebounds.
“First of all, not giving them layups in transition helped,” said Gobert, who recorded his 33rd double-double of the season. “For the most part for us, it was getting those rebounds. I think we did a great job down the stretch.”
Thaddeus Young scored 25 points to lead the Bulls. Zach LaVine added 23 and Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and eight rebounds.
After trailing by 11 late in the second quarter, the Bulls tied it at 62 on a pull-up 3-pointer from LaVine early in the third. LaVine’s basket finished off a 13-4 surge to open the period.
“Zach made shots late, but I think we did a good job of being efficient on offense down the stretch,” said Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. “We picked it up on the defensive end as well.”
Bogdanovic scored back-to-back baskets to keep Chicago from taking the lead. He added two more in a 16-4 spurt that put the Jazz back up 78-66.
The Bulls rallied again in the fourth quarter and cut Utah’s lead to 109-106 on a 3 from Vucevic with 26.7 seconds left. Mitchell and Royce O’Neale each drained a pair of free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.
Chicago pressured the rim throughout the first half and it paid off. The Bulls scored eight straight baskets and 19 of their first 20 overall in the paint. They totaled 38 points in the paint in the first half alone.
Attacking the rim helped Chicago carve out a 41-36 lead midway through the second quarter on the strength of a 10-0 run. Patrick Williams and Coby White punctuated the spree with back-to-back baskets.
It was not enough to hold off the Jazz once Utah heated up from the perimeter. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Mike Conley and a tip-in by Mitchell over three straight possessions capped off a 20-4 run that gave Utah a 58-47 lead just before halftime.
The Jazz next host Orlando Saturday at 7:00 p.m.