SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz rebounded in a big way Wednesday night.
After two straight losses in which they get outworked on the boards by the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers, the Utah Jazz out-rebounded the top rebounding team in the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers, and ended their 2-game losing streak with a 106-104 victory.
Donovan Mitchell had 24 points and eight assists, while Bojan Bogdanovic added 20 points including a dagger 3-pointer with 1:30 left to lead the Jazz to the win.
Utah out-rebounded the 76ers, 50-42, led by Rudy Gobert with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
“I think we lost the last two games, I wouldn’t say solely off of that, but a big part of it was off of offensive rebounds,” said Mitchell. “We came in against a team that was pretty big, I think the smallest player was 6-6. Just continue to box out and get and get hits.”
“Often times there’s no magic, it’s just a level of focus,” head coach Quin Snyder said about his team’s rebounding. “Usually when you have a team that has character like ours, when something is taken from you, it hurts, it’s painful and it brings your attention more to what you had to do.”
Joe Ingles scored a season-high 16 off the bench for Utah, while Mike Conley added 15 points and 6 rebounds.
Joel Embiid had 27 points and 16 rebounds, but was held to just 5 of 16 shooting from the field. Josh Richardson added a season-high 24 points and Tobias Harris chipped in with 16.
Ben Simmons did not play in the second half because of right shoulder soreness after bumping into Royce O’Neale’s chest while posting up on a first-quarter play. Simmons finished with two points and two assists in 10 minutes.
The Sixers built a 44-36 early in the second quarter after Embiid scored on three straight possessions, capped by a step-back jumper. Utah chipped away at the deficit behind sharp shooting from Bogdanovic. He scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the second.
“You have four or five playmakers on this team,” Bogdanovic said. “So no matter who is on the court, and they played press defense on us, and it was not bad because we know how good of ballhandlers we have.”
The Jazz finally went ahead 55-51 when Bogdanovic knocked down a pair of shots and fed Gobert for an alley-oop dunk over three straight possessions.
Utah took control in the third behind hot shooting from Mitchell. He scored back-to-back baskets to spark a 12-2 run that gave the Jazz a 78-65 lead late in the quarter. Mitchell totaled four field goals and assisted on two others during the quarter.
Embiid hit four free throws over consecutive possessions to help trim Utah’s lead to 103-101 with 1:51 left. Bogdanovic hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to keep Philadelphia from taking the lead. It ended up being the only outside basket the Jazz made during the quarter.
The Jazz (5-3) next host Milwaukee Friday night at 7:00 p.m.