SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz need to face the Washington Wizards on two days rest more often.
Playing with far more energy and efficient execution than they showed during most of their back-to-back-to-back road trip, the Jazz walloped the Wizards 114-100 tonight at EnergySolutions Arena.
Several Jazz players had big nights in this blowout, but one particular guy was the biggest of them Al.
Fortunately for Utah, Al Jefferson was better than that bad pun and far too much for the even the big Wizards to contain.
Big Al had his biggest game of the season, pouring in 32 points with 12 rebounds to lead the Jazz to a much-needed victory. Jefferson had 26 points by halftime, and he ended the first half with a buzzer-beating putback that ended his personal scoring flurry.
Leading up to the break, Jefferson scored 16 of 20 Jazz points, including 14 straight at one point. The 26 first-half points were the most a Jazz player have scored in one half this season.
That was just the first of several milestones for Utah on this night. The Jazz led 100-78 after three quarters, marking the first time they've hit the century mark before the fourth this season (and the first since January 2011). Utah's final total edged the Jazz's previous season-scoring high of 113 against Cleveland last month, too.
Paul Millsap had a nice complementary role with 14 points and 12 boards, rookie Alec Burks had a strong 13-point effort off the bench and Devin Harris contributed a very nice outing of 12 points and nine assists (a season-high).
John Wall led the 7-24 Wizards with 24 points and Jordan Crawford had 21. Utah snapped a two-game losing streak to get back above .500 at 15-14.
The Jazz had nothing left in the tank in a lopsided loss at Oklahoma City on Tuesday and were stunned in New Orleans by a then-four-win Hornets team.
The Jazz return to the road Sunday for a one-game trip in Houston, a team currently ahead of them in the Western Conference playoff positioning.
Halftime Quick Take
SALT LAKE CITY — Big Al came to play tonight.
Al Jefferson scored 14 straight points in the second quarter and finished the half with 26 to give the Utah Jazz a 62-50 lead over the Washington Wizards.
Jefferson has hit 12 of 15 shots from the field, including a putback at the buzzer that ended a flurry in which he scored 16 of the Jazz's final 20 points in the second quarter.6 comments on this story
Nine other Jazz players have scored for the Jazz, who are looking to get back to their winning ways. After two days off, Utah looks refreshed and reenergized after a rough road trip in which they lost to a bad New Orleans team and then got blown about by Oklahoma City after beating Memphis in back-to-back-to-back nights.
Guard John Wall leads the Wiz (7-23) with 12 points.
The Jazz (14-14) shot a sizzling 59.1 percent in the first half compared to just 45 percent shooting for Washington.