Jazz 8-game winning streak comes to an end against Spurs, 128-126

Sports

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After blowing its last four opponents out by at least 20 points, the Utah Jazz found themselves in a dogfight Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs, and it did not end well for the home team.

Lonnie Walker IV banked in a jumper with 14.9 seconds left and the San Antonio Spurs snapped the Utah Jazz’s eight-game winning streak with a 128-126 victory Friday night.

The Jazz blew a 17-point lead for its first loss since November 26th.

Keldon Johnson scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead San Antonio. Derrick White added 22 points and Walker chipped in 19.

Former University of Utah star Jakob Poeltl added 14 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots for the Spurs.

“This is obviously a learning season, but I feel like we’ve got the talent and the group to be able to win games,” San Antonio guard Dejounte Murray said. “And we’ve proven that even with the games we lost.”

Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points for the Jazz. Jordan Clarkson added 21 and Mike Conley had 18. Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Mitchell scored back-to-back baskets to give the Jazz a 126-125 lead with 33 seconds left. Walker answered with the go-ahead jumper. He drove to the rim and floated his shot past Gobert.

“The play was for Dejounte coming off a triple screen,” Walker said. “I kind of identified it early that they were hard on him. They knew he was going to get the shot. It was just my time to do what I do.”

Mitchell had two cracks at a go-ahead basket in the final seconds but missed both shots.

“That’s the basketball gods,” Mitchell said. “When you don’t defend all game, you don’t deserve to have that shot to go in.”

Utah’s efficient shooting kept San Antonio from building much of a lead. The Jazz shot 26 of 46 from the field in the first half and made eight 3-pointers.

Utah never trailed in the second quarter after Conley and Clarkson scored back-to-back baskets to break a 39-39 tie. The Jazz eventually built a 17-point lead before halftime, going up 73-56 on Mitchell’s second-chance 3-pointer that capped a 10-1 run.

San Antonio rallied in the third quarter and erased Utah’s double-digit lead. Murray assisted three straight baskets during a 9-0 run that cut the deficit to one. Walker then hit a jumper and assisted another from Devin Vassell to put the Spurs ahead 95-93.

“We lost focus and were content to trade with them,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “Then when you start trading and they’re missing and you’re making, you end up with a 41-23 third quarter. To me it’s hard to overcome that and turn it back on again.”

San Antonio shot 17 of 25 from the field during the third quarter. The Spurs limited the Jazz 37.5% shooting in the same span.

“That’s our identity,” Johnson said. “Defense and sharing the ball on offense.”

Murray had a triple-double for the second time in three games after finishing with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. San Antonio committed zero turnovers in the third quarter and scored a season-high 41 points. The Spurs scored 22 points off 13 Utah turnovers.

Mitchell went 4 of 13 from the field in the second half. Utah outscored San Antonio 64-54 in the paint and 18-15 in second-chance points.

The Jazz next host Washington Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

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