Jefferson scores 34 as Jazz beat Wizards 114-100
SALT LAKE CITY – Al Jefferson scored a season-high 34 points, including 26 in the first half, and the Utah Jazz beat the Washington Wizards 114-100 on Friday night.
The Jazz, who had lost five of six, broke it open in the third quarter when they outscored the Wizards 38-28, fueled by runs of 8-0 and 20-8.
Jefferson had eclipsed his season high of 30 points with nearly 5 minutes left in the third as the Jazz led by as many as 28. He finished 16 of 23 with 12 rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
John Wall led the Wizards with 24 points, while Jordan Crawford added 21 off the bench.
Paul Millsap had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Utah, which held a 70-44 advantage in the paint.
The Wizards have won just three road games all season and travel to Phoenix next.
Jazz point guard Devin Harris did his best to keep up with Wall, scoring six straight points in the third quarter on a three-point play and 3-point shot when Utah took control. He also had two steals and a season-high nine assists.
The Wizards got within 64-54 on a layup by JaVale McGee with 10:08 left in the third.
Harris then hit a running jumper, Millsap followed with a three-point play and Jefferson's steal set up Gordon Hayward's 3-pointer that bumped Utah's lead to 72-54.
Jefferson hit two more mid-range jumpers and Raja Bell a 3 to make it 79-59. Jefferson's 4-footer with 4:49 left in the third gave Utah its largest lead, 92-64.
The Jazz led 62-50 at halftime, closing the second quarter on a 6-2 run after Washington had pulled to 56-48 on Crawford's jumper with 1:47 remaining.
Jefferson had the hot hand again, hitting seven of eight shots for a 16-point quarter. He led all scorers at halftime with 26 points — four shy of his previous season high of 30 on Jan. 10 against Cleveland.
The Jazz shot 59.1 percent in the first half and 52.8 percent overall.
Utah fell behind 10-4 to open the game but outscored Washington 28-10 to take a 32-20 lead after one quarter. The Jazz shot 62.5 percent in the first quarter, with their first 14 points coming in the paint.
Wall had been a tough foe for the Jazz. He averaged 23.5 points and 11 assists in two wins over the Jazz last season as a rookie, and entered this one averaging 20 points, 8.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds in his last eight games overall.
But he didn't get much support from three other Wizards starters: Nick Young shot 4 of 12, Trevor Booker was 1 of 5 and Chris Singleton 2 of 4.
NOTES: The Jazz play three of their next four and eight of the next 11 on the road. ... Jazz F Gordon Hayward and Wizards G Shelvin Mack played together in 2010 when Butler won the West Regional at EnergySolutions Arena to advance to the NCAA Final Four and eventually the championship game. ... The Jazz entered ranked fifth in the NBA in bench scoring at 36.6 points per game. Their reserves scored 39 in this one. ... Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he wanted to make a conscious effort to get rookie guard Alec Burks more playing time. Burks didn't disappoint. He started 6 of 6 and finished with 13 points in 20 minutes, including a 3-pointer that put the Jazz at 100 points through three quarters.