SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz are flying high heading into the NBA All-Star break.
Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 22 points to lift the Jazz to a 116-101 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
The Jazz have now won four straight games, and set a franchise record with its 36th victory before the All-Star break.
Jordan Clarkson added 21 points off the bench for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 20 rebounds as Utah won its fourth straight game.
“They’re a very physical team,” Gobert said. “They play well together, and we really wanted to come out more physical in the second half. Everyone did a great job moving the ball and sharing it.”
Jimmy Butler scored 25 points to lead the Heat. Duncan Robinson added 18 points and former Jazz forward Jae Crowder chipped in 15 off the bench.
Miami built the largest lead during a back-and-forth first half. Butler, Kendrick Nunn, and Robinson each scored a basket during an 8-0 run that put the Heat up 52-43.
Utah closed the gap in the third quarter and overtook Miami. Gobert tipped in a basket and Mitchell drove for a layup on back-to-back possessions to spark a 18-7 run. The Jazz scored on seven straight possessions during the run – capped by a layup and pair of free throws by Tony Bradley for a 79-72 lead.
“I’m honestly just shooting it,” said Mitchell, who made 9 of 16 shots, including 4 of 8 from three-point range. “A lot of times I’m worrying about pump faking, getting to the basket and trying to make plays. But just shooting it, shooting when you’re open. Don’t try to force something that’s not there and just having the confidence behind it. That’s the biggest thing. There’s nothing much more than just continuing to shoot the open shots I get.”
Robinson and Crowder drained back-to-back 3-pointers and Crowder added a pair of free throws to pull Miami within two at 87-85. Clarkson kept the Heat from regaining the lead, hitting a pair of 3-pointers less than a minute apart as part of a 9-0 run. The second 3-pointer gave Utah a 96-85 lead with 8:08 remaining.
Miami never got closer than seven points. After Andre Iguodala hit a 3-pointer to cut the Jazz lead to 106-99, Utah scored on four consecutive possessions, punctuated by a dunk by Gobert that made it 116-101 with 1:31 remaining.
The Jazz outscored the Heat by 20 points in the second half.
“You definitely don’t want to go into the All-Star break on a down note,” said Georges Niang, who had seven points off the bench. “We were all just talking and saying let’s get back to doing what we’ve been doing, selfless basketball. Not what can the team do for me, what can I do for the team.”
With a record of 36-18, the Jazz are still in the fourth seed in the Western Conference, but are just one game behind the Clippers for the third seed and a game a half behind Denver for the two-seed.
The Jazz are now off until February 21st when they host San Antonio at 7:00 p.m.