From the opening tip you could see the Jazz main focus was to front and double Wizards guard Brad Beal all night long and see if someone else could beat them. Unfortunately for Washington, not enough offense was summoned up to prevent an ugly loss to Utah 116-95, ending their five game home stand with a 3-2 record.
Utah, who is also jockeying for playoff position applied fierce defense from start to finish, holding the Wizards to 42 percent shooting from the field, 29 percent shooting from deep, thanks in large part to defensive anchor Rudy Gobert. Gobert (14 points,14 rebounds,3 assist) may have only finished with 2 blocks, however, he altered MANY of the Wizards shots to the point they stopped challenging him as the game went on. With him inside, Jazz guards and wings were extra physical and applied pressure to Wizards guards. The wizard’s backcourt, starters and reserves combined for 11-28 shooting from the field. Beal himself had arguably his toughest night of the season scoring 15 points on 4-12 shooting from the field in 30 minutes. Jabari Parker was the lone bright spot for Washington, posting 19 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals off the bench.
On offense while Washington was ice cold and struggling to find a rhythm, Jazz were clicking on all cylinders. Utah had 35 assist on 49 made baskets with point guard Ricky Rubio leading the way with 10 on his own. Simply put they were surgical with their passing and Washington never recovered.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 19 points, Jae Crowder added 18 points and Joe Ingles contributed 16 points, 4 assist and 3 rebounds.
The 30-41 Wizards travel to face the 20-52 Chicago Bulls Wednesday at 8pm.