SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz continue to struggle on the road to open the 2023-24 season.
Zach LaVine scored 24 points, DeMar DeRozan had 21 and the Chicago Bulls handed Utah (2-6) its fourth straight loss on the road, 130-113.
Coby White added 18 as the Bulls (3-5) scored a season high in points. Chicago got a boost off the bench as Jevon Carter hit four 3-pointers and scored 12 points, and Andre Drummond added 12 points from the paint.
Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points and led Utah for the sixth time in eight games. The Jazz got 15 points from Walker Kessler, and 14 from John Collins and Colin Sexton. The Jazz committed 22 turnovers in their third straight loss.
“Obviously defensively tonight, a couple of things hurt us,” Utah coach Will Hardy said. “But you know the game tonight really boiled down to turnovers. Especially in the first half, coming into halftime with 15 turnovers, having 11 of them in the second quarter, put us in a bad spot.”
Chicago, which entered with 59 steals in seven games, added 12 in this one while scoring 30 points off Utah turnovers.
The Bulls bounced back with focus and energy, shooting 51.6% (48 of 93) from the floor following a 123-101 loss at Denver on Saturday, when they led by two points at the half but faded.
“I just appreciated the spirit they came out with,” Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. “And obviously, it’s always a little bit easier playing with that spirit when you score 130 points.
“But I thought the intention we played with was really good tonight and it was good to see them sustain in it through the whole game.”
Eight Bulls players reached double-figures in scoring, with 54 points coming from the bench. Chicago’s Patrick Williams and Alex Caruso, who played after injuring his right elbow at Denver, each had 10 points.
“When you put the work in and you finally have it come through for the whole team is good,” LaVine said. “You can see we look a lot better. The shots have fallen and the defense is where it should be.”
Chicago opened a 20-point lead with a fast start in the second half and extended the advantage to as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter
Chicago connected for a season-high 66 points in the first half, getting rolling with a 9-0 run late in the first quarter.
Chicago’s led 66-52 midway through, with DeRozan and LaVine pacing the attack. Drummond was strong in the paint and Carter was firing from outside, hitting three 3s on seven tries.
Utah had 14 of its turnovers in the half and stayed in the game thanks largely to 14 points from Markkanen, who played his first four seasons with Chicago.
“We’re in a little bit of funk from a wins and losses standpoint,” Hardy said. “But I still see us playing pockets of good basketball. And then we have pockets of really ugly basketball, tonight being the second quarter for us.”
The Jazz will try to earn its first road win Wednesday night at Indiana.