The Utah Jazz pleasantly surprises at the start of the NBA season, being the leader of the Western Conference, despite the departure this summer of its two stars, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. The Salt Lake City franchise also remained on four consecutive victories (two against the LA Lakers and one against the LA Clippers and Atlanta). But, on Saturday, traveling to the Washington Wizards, Utah lost (121-112).
Wizards go 12-0 before the break
It is now the team from the US capital which is on a good run since the Wizards have won their last three matches. All while still being deprived of Bradley Beal, their best scorer, absent for four games (NBA health protocol). Utah led much of the first period, but never outpaced Washington. And, in the last three minutes, the Wizards slammed a 12-0, which allowed them to return to the locker room in the lead (61-55).
In the second half, the locals kept their hand, leading throughout, with a peak of 15 points ahead (74-59, 27th). The Utah Jazz could not contain their opponent on three-point shots. The Washington Wizards have registered 16, including four for Kristaps Porzingis and Corey Kispert. In the last quarter, Utah reduced the gap several times, but Washington was able to move forward each time, to finally win one of its most significant victories of its start to the season.
Washington fifth in the East
Porzingis was the game’s top scorer, with 31 points (12/20 shooting including 4/8 from three points). The Latvian pivot also took 10 rebounds and was well supported by Kyle Kuzma, author of 23 points, and Kispert (18 pts). In the ranks of Jazz, beaten for the fourth time this season, Jordan Clarkson was the most effective (18 pts).
Despite its setback, Utah remains the leader of the Western Conference, with one more victory than Memphis, which did not play on Saturday, and Portland, which lost to Dallas (117-112). The Salt Lake City team will play again on Sunday with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Washington Wizards are fifth in the East. They too will play Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies.