SALT LAKE CITY — – Donovan Mitchell made a comeback – and the Utah Jazz suddenly looked like the best offense in the NBA again.
Mitchell scored 27 points after missing eight games with a concussion, Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points and 11 rebounds and the Jazz outshot the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets 125-102 on Friday night.
“The other teams are so focused on him that it frees up other guys offensively – he’s Donovan Mitchell and makes life a lot easier for everyone,” said Alex Jensen, who was the interim coach of Utah with Quin Snyder in COVID-19. health and safety protocols.
On Utah’s first possession, Mitchell delivered an assist to Royce O’Neale for a three-point play. It sparked a 10-0 run to start the game and the Jazz picked up a wire-to-wire win for the third time this season and sent the Nets to a season-high seventh straight loss.
Mitchell shot 8 for 10 from the floor and had six 3-pointers and six assists in 22 minutes of energetic play.
“He was amazing” Udoka Azubuike noted. “It felt like a video game. There was one time I had to pull myself together because I was just watching it. Every shot was coming in. Don is a star.”
Mitchell spoke to the media earlier in the day about his frustration with recurring concussion symptoms since being shot in the head Jan. 17, so just being there for the whistleblower was a thrill.
“I was just happy playing basketball,” Mitchell said. “I was joking before the game that I didn’t care if the ball went in. I was just happy to be out there running, guarding, thinking about the game and playing with my teammates.
The extended rest could have done him good as he played a nearly flawless game against the decimated Nets with drives to the basket, accurate passing and accurate shooting. The Jazz were 2-6 without Mitchell.
“I would rather play outside, but I just told someone my legs haven’t felt this fresh in a long time,” Michell said.
But just in case he felt too good about himself, Mitchell said Snyder texted him after the game to point out he had four turnovers.
“That’s why we all love him. You know, he’s a detail-oriented man,” Mitchell said with a laugh.
The Brooklyn Rookie cam thomas posted a career-high 30 points just four games after setting his previous record of 25 last week.
“They did a lot of 3s. They couldn’t miss early on,” Thomas said. “It’s very demoralizing to have to get the ball out of the basket every time,” Thomas said.
Kyrie Irvingthe only Nets star to play, scored 15 points on 20 shots.
“We have a lot of special guys in our league, but there are a few special guys who even separate themselves from this group of just being special and he (Mitchell) is one of those people,” Irving said.
The Nets never trailed below 21 points the entire second half.
“We’re going through a tough time,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. “We’re understaffed and we’re asking the guys to do more. We played against a great attacking team. … I keep telling the guys it’s about sticking together through this.
Utah played its sixth game without Rudy Gobert, who is on the verge of recovering from a sprained left calf. The Frenchman was named to his third All-Star team with Mitchell this week.
The Jazz had 33 assists on 48 field goals as they shot 57% and went 17 for 38 from 3-point range.
“We talked about trusting each other and everyone doing their job,” Jensen said. “You could tell by the 33 assists that we trusted each other at both ends of the pitch.”
INGLES SAYS HE WILL BE BACK
After tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament on Sunday, Joe Ingles met with the media on Friday and said he wanted to assure everyone that he was not going to disappear and never be seen again.
“I have no doubt that I can come back better than before,” said Ingles, 34. “My game and the way I play, I’m not going to lie, I never relied on athleticism. I was able to succeed by being who I am and the way I play.
Ingles played all eight seasons with the Jazz and is Utah’s all-time leading 3-pointer. His contract ends this season, but he has expressed his goal of returning to the NBA after the first serious injury he suffered since age 15.
“I made it very clear that I didn’t want to be anywhere else and play my career here,” he said. “I still think I have a few more years to give.”
Nets: Brooklyn trailed up to 34 in its least competitive game since a 118-88 loss to the Jazz on March 24, 2021. … DeAndre Bembry went 6 for 7 for 13 points. … Blake Griffin had three of Brooklyn’s 10 interceptions.
Jazz: Utah has won six straight at home in the series with Brooklyn. … Jordan Clarkson (knee) and Danuel House (virus) missed the game. … The Jazz had 16 turnovers, but topped just about every other stat.
Nets: Visit the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
Jazz: Host the New York Knicks on Monday night.