I think we were crisp on the offensive end for sure. We were also pretty disciplined defensively, which I think is a good mindset on both ends of the floor. —Jazz coach Quin Snyder
SALT LAKE CITY — It wasn’t even close.
Maybe a little bit during the first quarter, but never throughout the second, third or fourth quarters.
The John Wall-less Washington Wizards didn’t stand a chance.
With All-NBA center Rudy Gobert returning to the lineup Monday after an 11-game absence, the Utah Jazz won their sixth straight game 116-69 in blowout fashion by the second-largest margin (47) in team history.
Gobert returned from the bone bruise in his right knee with a brace to log four points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 21 minutes.
“Defensively, I think this is one of the best games we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Gobert said. “The bench came in and brought us some intensity. We were up 30, we came back, we didn’t play great but then we came back and started getting stops again and did it until the last minute.”
Utah dominated in every statistical category. The Jazz outrebounded the Wizards 52-31, outscored them in the paint 50-24, scored off 29 assists and held Washington to horrid 28.7 percent shooting without Wall, who is recovering from left knee soreness, while connecting on 56.6 shots as a team.
“I think we were crisp on the offensive end for sure,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We were also pretty disciplined defensively, which I think is a good mindset on both ends of the floor.”
Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell followed up on his 41-point career night with 21 points in 26 minutes on 8-for-13 shooting. He didn’t even have to hit the floor for the fourth quarter, checking out with 2:18 remaining in the third, as his teammates kept things under control.
Alec Burks continued his hot streak, posting his third straight 20-point game off the bench. He ended with 27 points, five rebounds and three assists, using freak athleticism to finish nifty buckets around the rim while knocking down all three of his 3-point attempts.
Everyone on the team scored a basket and looked loose even without leading scorer Rodney Hood, who missed his fourth game in a row with left ankle soreness. Royce O’Neale even came off the bench to lead the team with six assists and 11 points.
“I think it starts with the locker room,” Mitchell said. “It starts with the camaraderie on the court and kind of continues and carries off the court. You watch guys on the bench, we’re all happy for each other and excited for each other so that’s where it starts.”
Otto Porter Jr. was Washington’s top scorer with 14 points and six rebounds. Markieff Morris, Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre Jr. also contributed 11 points apiece, but the game was out of reach by halftime as the Jazz led 64-30.
The Jazz used great ball movement to build a 29-15 lead in the first quarter, in which they shot 57.1 percent, combining for nine early assists and they never looked back. The second half was all Utah, with the Jazz even winning the fast break points battle 18-4.
“They punched us, punched us again and punched us again,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks. “Surprisingly, we didn’t fight back. One of the first times since I’ve been here that we didn’t play with any fight. It’s one game.”
Utah (13-11) will travel to Oklahoma City Tuesday where the Jazz's league-toughest December schedule begins kicking in.
“Obviously we played really well,” Snyder said. “We caught them on a tough shooting night, which makes it hard.
“We were fortunate in that respect. I think we really came out with the right mindset defensively,” he added. “When we do that, the offense is just easier and the ball moved.”