Jefferson, Jazz outlast Wizards
Salt Lake City, UT – Al Jefferson scored a season-high 34 game losing streak 100 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
The Jazz also stopped a two-game slide to the Wizards, getting 14 points and 12 rebounds from Paul Millsap and 13 points off the bench from Alec Burks.
Jefferson scored 26 of his 34 points in the first half -- a team-best for any half this season -- and Utah also set a season-high with 62 points in the first half.
"I saw a couple of (early) ones go in and my right hand got going and I made some shots," said Jefferson. "(We) also played great D and my teammates did a great job getting me the ball. It feels good to get a win and we need to continue to play hard."
John Wall scored 24 points to lead Washington and Jordan Crawford had 21, but the Wizards dropped their second straight and fell to 2-2 on a five-game road trip. The two straight losses have come after Washington defeated Detroit and Portland for its first back-to-back wins of the season.
The Jazz trailed 10-4, but used a 12-3 run to take the lead for good midway through the first quarter.
Jefferson and Devin Harris scored four points apiece during the burst and Gordon Hayward's dunk put Utah in front. Raja Bell followed with a jumper to make it 16-13, ending the surge, and the Jazz later finished the first quarter on a 10-1 run to carry a 32-20 lead into the second.
They maintained their 12-point lead at halftime, 62-50, and put the outcome to rest in the third quarter with a 16-5 spurt. Jefferson knocked down a short jumper for a game-high 28-point lead at 92-64.
"They swung it around and made some shots," said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. "We have to do a better job of when a guy gets going, step up to the plate, get a little pissed off about what's going on and fight the guy."
Washington never got closer than 20 in the quarter, trailing 100-78 entering the fourth, and only made up ground down the stretch. The Wizards had won two in a row over Utah -- both last season -- after dropping six of the previous seven meetings.
The Jazz were coming off a 1-2 road trip...The Wizards fell to 0-8 on Fridays this season...Utah shot 52.8 percent and held Washington to 45.2 percent from the floor...The Jazz out-scored the Wizards 70-44 in the paint...Harris had 12 points and a season-high nine assists...The Jazz are 46-44 all-time against the Wizards, and 26-19 at home.