BROOKLYN (ABC4 Sports) – Joe Ingles matched his career high with 27 points, Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 18 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz ran their winning streak to 10 games by beating the Brooklyn Nets 118-107 on Tuesday night.
“Rudy was setting great screens that opened up the guards, especially in that first half,” said Ingles, who made 6 of 8 three-pointers and 10 of 14 shots overall. “They adjusted a little in the second half, but we got some really good looks and all our guys took the shots they gave us.”
Donovan Mitchell returned from a one-game absence with an illness to score 25 points – 14 in the fourth quarter – and Bojan Bogdanovic had 18 for the Jazz, who opened a 20-point lead and impressively turned back every attempt by the Nets to make it close.
Kyrie Irving had 32 points and a season-high 11 assists in his second game back from a shoulder injury, but it mostly seemed he was trying to shoot the Nets back into a game the Jazz weren’t going to let go of in what became their 15th win in 16 games.
“We’re in a groove,” said Mitchell, who scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half. “I think a lot of the offense comes instinctively. Defensively, it’s the same. A lot of times at the beginning of the year, we had to communicate a lot. Now, it’s kind of like if we make a mistake, we have each others backs. We’re just flowing.”
The Nets were coming off their best defensive performance of the season, allowing season lows in points and field goal percentage (33%) in a 108-86 rout of Atlanta. But they could never get comfortable against a Jazz team that had Gobert rolling inside and plenty of good shooters on the outside. Ingles was 6 of 8 behind the arc and finished 10 of 14 overall.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 17 points for the Nets, who had won two in a row.
Both teams started quickly, the Jazz opening 8 of 12 from the field and the Nets 7 of 10. But eventually Utah’s defense began to assert itself.
Dinwiddie was 0 for 4 from the free throw line in the first half, though the Nets scored on his first attempts when the Jazz accidentally batted the ball into the basket. Rodions Kurucs, as the closest Nets player, was given credit for the field goal.
Brooklyn could have tied it when Dinwiddie went to the line the second time. His two misses left Utah leading 45-43, and Ingles then hit three 3-pointers in a 14-2 burst to end the half and give the Jazz a 59-45 advantage.
The Jazz made four 3s in about four minutes to start the second half, with the last one by Ingles pushing the lead to 76-56. Brooklyn cut it to eight midway through the fourth after six straight points, but Gobert converted a three-point play and Mitchell nailed a 3 to extend it to 105-91.
“That’s the strength of our team,” Gobert said. “We’ve got a lot of playmakers that can make the right decisions and find those guys. It’s very tough to guard. I wouldn’t like to guard ourselves.”
The Jazz next play at New Orleans Thursday night, and Zion Williamson is expected to make his NBA debut for the Pelicans.