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Jazz 104, Wizards 101

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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SALT LAKE CITY — Center Enes Kanter scored 24 points off the bench and the Utah Jazz rallied to beat the Washington Wizards 104-101 Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward scored 16 points, including a pair of free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining, to help Utah improve to 15-29.

Center Derrick Favors played after missing Tuesday’s home loss to Minnesota with a strained right hip abductor. He finished with a game-high 14 rebounds and 11 points.

This game wasn’t settled until Washington guard John Wall’s desperation heave from well behind the 3-point line crashed off the rim at the buzzer.

The win snapped a two-game skid for Utah, which hadn’t played since a home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.

The Jazz, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, seemed to have control after rookie point guard Trey Burke hit a 3-pointer for a 99-93 lead with 1:23 remaining.

But Wizards forward Trevor Ariza, who scored a team-high 23 points, cut Utah’s lead to three with a 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining.

Washington, which beat the Suns 101-95 in Phoenix on Friday night, had a couple of chances to force overtime in the final 28 seconds. But guard Bradley Beal, Ariza and Wall missed game-tying 3-point attempts, as the Wizards dropped below .500 again at 21-22.

The Jazz gave the Wizards a couple of extra chances in the waning moments. First, Hayward turned the ball over with 21.5 to play with a bad pass to Favors.

But, needing a 3 to force overtime, Ariza unleashed an off-balance air ball from 3-point territory with 10.7 seconds left.

After guard Alec Burks split two free throws, Wall banked in a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game with 3.6 seconds remaining.

Hayward then sank two foul shots before Wall rushed up court and threw up an unanswered prayer at the buzzer.

Utah took an 85-77 lead with 9:21 remaining after opening the fourth quarter with eight straight points.

All five starters scored in double figures for the Wizards, including a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double from center Marcin Gortat. Beal turned in 14 points with a career-high-tying eight assists

The Wizards, however, only got 18 points from their bench.

Utah, meanwhile, was boosted from Kanter’s production and from a 15-point night by Burks. Jazz reserves combined to score 52 points.

Wall, who averaged 23.5 points and 8.3 assists in his previous three games, had a rough start. The point guard only hit one of his first nine shots before dropping three of five in the fourth quarter for 13 points.

Ariza sparked a 12-2 run with back-to-back 3-pointers as the Wizards opened up a 29-18 lead in the first quarter. Washington took its biggest advantage at 43-30 on a forward Martell Webster basket early in the second quarter.

The Jazz responded with an 11-0 spurt to tie the score at 45 later in the period. Burks scored six points in that span for Utah.

NOTES: The Jazz claimed PF Malcolm Thomas off waivers Saturday, two days after the 25-year-old was released by San Antonio. Thomas, who’s had short stints with the Spurs, Bulls and Warriors, will join Utah on Sunday. “He’s someone we tracked for a number of years now,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. “We think it’s a potential good fit for (Thomas) and us. We just want to take him through the rest of the year and see where he’s at relative to our team.” … The Wizards were 8-2 in their last 10 road games coming into Utah. … Jazz PF Derrick Favors, on not being selected to USA Basketball’s 28-man player pool, from which the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic teams will be formed: “It was just added motivation that I wasn’t selected.” … Jazz SG Gordon Hayward and Wizards SG Bradley Beal were both included in the pool, while Favors and Wall were left off after participating in last summer’s team USA mini-camp in Las Vegas. … Washington’s last win, 108-101, in Utah came on Jan. 17, 2011.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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