BROOKLYN (ABC4 Sports) – Two days after blowing out San Antonio, the Utah Jazz were on the other end of a rout Tuesday night against the Brooklyn Nets.
Kyrie Irving scored 18 of his 29 points in the first quarter, as the Nets, who were playing without Kevin Durant, dominated the Utah Jazz right from the start, 130-96.
Brooklyn, which entered the game having lost two straight and four of five, never trailed. The Nets raced out to a 23-5 lead, led 35-14 after the first quarter and 63-44 at halftime.
The Jazz never got closer than 17 points in the second half, as Brooklyn handed Utah its first road loss of the season.
Durant missed the game for COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.
Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 31 points, but it wasn’t nearly enough for Utah.
“When you play a team like this that lost four out of five and came here with something to prove,” Mitchell said. “I’m tired of saying it, but you’ve got to hand it to the other team for coming out that way. We’ve got to figure out who we want to be. Fortunately it’s just six games, and not 26 or 60. We have time to turn this around, but we need to start now.”
Irving was a prime factor in the Nets’ first-half attack, scoring 18 points in the first quarter and 20 by halftime. Irving’s 18 first-quarter points were the third-most scored by an player on any team in an opening quarter this season. His 20 first-half points marked the fifth time this season he had that many in an opening half.
“Certainly there was a lack of intensity and focus on the defensive end at the beginning of the game,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “We played really, really poorly.”
As brilliant as he was individually, Irving had help from Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert.
Allen recorded his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 18 rebounds.
Allen credited a change of his pregame meal from pasta with pesto sauce to pasta with alfredo sauce for his season high in points and rebounds.
“I think that was the thing that turned my game on tonight,” Allen said with a grin.
LeVert came off the bench to score 24 points off the bench. Joe Harris chipped in with 10 points.
“It’s really satisfying,” LeVert said.
The Nets did not let up in the second half as they cruised to their fourth win in eight games this season. A sequence in the final 1:34 of the third quarter all but put the game away. It began with an Allen alley-oop dunk off a feed by LeVert, followed by a jumper by LeVert, a breakaway layup for the Nets’ sixth man, and Brooklyn’s young big man buzzer-beating putback. In that stretch, Brooklyn extended its lead from 92-70 to 98-73.
Jordan Clarkson added 12 points, while Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neale had 10 each for the Jazz, whose two-game winning steak was snapped.
“We didn’t come out ready for their pressure,” Mitchell said. “We just didn’t do much right.”
“The one thing about the NBA is we play again tomorrow,” said Snyder. “So we need to bounce back.”
The Jazz play the third game of a seven-game road trip Wednesday against the New York Knicks.