Gobert returns and Jazz blow out Wizards for 6th straight victory

Sports

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Rudy Gobert returned to action, and the Utah Jazz kept on rolling.

After missing the last 11 games with a bone contusion on his knee, Gobert led a stifling Jazz defense, holding the Wizards to just 29 percent shooting in a 116-69 blowout.

The win is Utah’s sixth in a row.

”We played really well,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”It was really good. We were crisp on the offensive end, for sure. We were also pretty disciplined defensively, which is a good mindset on both ends of the floor.”

Alec Burks scored 27 points for his third straight game with 20 or more, while rookie Donovan Mitchell hit the 20-point mark for the ninth time this season, finishing with 21 points.

”We played really well,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”I don’t know (about) `best,’ but it was really good. … We were crisp on the offensive end, for sure. We were also pretty disciplined defensively, which is a good mindset on both ends of the floor.

Burks is on his best string since three straight 20-point games in February 2014. He helped the Jazz put on a show during the first 24 minutes to lead 64-30 at halftime, their second-biggest output in a half this season.

Utah moved the ball crisply, leading to wide open 3-pointers, layups and dunks. It shot 56.8 percent in the first half and knocked down seven 3s. Every Jazz player that played had an assist in the half, and the team scored 34 points in the paint.

Washington set a season low for points. Otto Porter Jr. led the Wizards with 14 points.

Gobert was on a minutes restriction, and scored 4 points in 21 minutes to go along with 10 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

”We’ve learned how to play together and how to play that style of basketball of driving and kicking and moving the ball,” Gobert said. “There’s no one guy that holds the ball all the time. It’s always moving and they don’t know how to guard that. Defensively, I think that’s one of the best games we’ve played since I’ve been here.”

Utah used a 33-6 run that spanned the first and second quarters to take a 31-point lead. Donovan Mitchell highlighted the stretch with a tomahawk, alley-oop dunk on a fast break off a look-away pass from Ricky Rubio.

”They punched us and punched us again and punched us again,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. ”Surprisingly, we didn’t fight back. One of the first times since I’ve been here we didn’t play with fight.”

Washington’s 30 first-half points marked its second fewest points in a half this season. The Wizards shot 26.8 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from beyond the arc.

The Jazz next play at Oklahoma City Tuesday night.

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