It’s a credit to him that he was able to deliver tonight. —Jazz coach Quin Snyder, on Derrick Favors
SALT LAKE CITY — With the exception of the Utah Jazz’s first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers last season, it’s fair to say Derrick Favors has been a shell of his former self over the last year, thanks in part to injuries and Rudy Gobert’s improvement in the pick-and-roll game.
On Saturday at Vivint Arena, however, a perfect storm was created for Favors to have a huge night in the Jazz’s 114-106 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The eighth-year pro out of Georgia Tech finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and a steal as Utah snapped its four-game losing streak.
To start, Rudy Gobert was on the sideline thanks to a knee contusion he suffered Friday night against the Miami Heat. Secondly, Favors was quick to acknowledge after the game that he still likes to play well against the Nets, the team that drafted him in 2010 before trading him to the Jazz in the Deron Williams deal less than a year later.
“It’s a credit to him that he was able to deliver tonight,” Utah head coach Quin Snyder said of Favors, who had only scored in double digits once this month and had only pulled down 10 rebounds once on the season before Saturday. He’s capable of that. I was really, really proud of him...I just thought he played with a lot of heart.”
Because of the injuries that limited him to just 50 games last year and the diminished role he’s had offensively with the emergence of Gobert as the Jazz’s primary roll threat, Favors said it felt good to finish with a point total he hasn’t reached since March of 2016.
“It’s always good to go out there and just show people, ‘Look, man, I’m 100 percent healthy,’” he said. “I’m still the same player, I just went through a little adversity last year.”
The fact it came against Brooklyn was icing on the cake for Favors. Although it’s been nearly seven years since he was dealt to Utah (when the Nets were still in New Jersey), he repeated five times Saturday that it’s “always” good to play well against his first squad.
“That’s how it is in the NBA. You always want to have those revenge games against your former team,” he said. “They traded you away. It’s not personal. I enjoyed my time there. They’re a great organization, but every time I get a chance to play them, I always want to try to make a statement.”
That statement came right in time for a Jazz team desperate to get a win, something they hadn’t gotten in 10 days thanks to a variety of struggles on both ends of the floor.
After shooting just 4-of-33 in the second half en route to a loss Friday night against the Miami Heat, Utah shot over 48 percent on Saturday and was in control from early in the second quarter until late in the fourth when Brooklyn cut it to four with 1:23 remaining.
Beside Favors, four other Jazzmen finished in double figures, led by Donovan Mitchell’s 26, nine of which came in the fourth quarter.
“I think the effort got rewarded with some shots going in,” Snyder said.
Said Favors: “We definitely needed a win. It was just one of those games for us. Rudy was out, so everybody came in and brought a lot of energy. We just played as a team. Guys came off the bench and did their job. It was a team win for us.”