WASHINGTON (AP) — Utah coach Quin Snyder praised the Washington Wizards’ guards before and after Sunday’s game.
In between, his Jazz beat them.
Gordon Hayward scored 30 points, Rudy Gobert added 15 points and 20 rebounds, and the Jazz beat the Wizards 102-92 on Sunday for their third straight victory.
Washington, the Southeast Division leader, has lost two in a row for the first time since early January and hosts Golden State on Tuesday night. John Wall led the Wizards with 23 points and 11 assists, but committed nine turnovers. Backcourt mate Bradley Beal, who was scoreless in the first half, added 22 points.
“I still feel like they’re the best backcourt I’ve seen,” Snyder said, echoing comments he made before tipoff. “We were fortunate tonight.”
Added Utah’s Derrick Favors: “I think we did a great job. We forced them to take tough shots, played good transition defense.”
Northwest Division-leading Utah led by as many as 24 points before Washington got within six with just over 2 minutes left. Hayward hit a pair of jumpers to seal the win.
George Hill added 21 points for Utah.
Utah converted 23 of 32 free throws, while Washington made 10 of 13. The Jazz outrebounded the Wizards 52-27.
“Physicality: They had it, we did not,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “We let them run their offense without any resistance.”
Utah led 49-39 at halftime and opened a 62-43 lead with 6:48 left in the third quarter on Favors’ dunk off a feed from Gobert, necessitating Brooks’ second timeout of the quarter.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Hill soon increased the lead to 24 before Bojan Bogdanovic’s 33-footer capped a 14-3 Wizards run to end the quarter.
Washington trailed by 16 when Wall hit a 3 and Beal followed with five quick points to make it 93-85 with 3:11 remaining. Bogdanovic’s two free throws cut the deficit to six at the 2:01 mark, but Hayward sandwiched a 3-pointer and a long 2 around a Washington turnover to stall the rally.
“I wish they wouldn’t have caught up, but he closed the door on a couple straight possessions,” Snyder said of Hayward.
The Jazz shot 50 percent from the field and hit 13 of 18 free throws in the first half to build a 10-point lead.
“We didn’t make shots. I did a bad job turning the ball over,” Wall said, “but it is tough to be in the game when somebody shoots (18) free throws to one in the first half.”
The margin could have been bigger but Utah turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 15 Washington points.
The Wizards shot 36.7 percent (18 of 49) and made their only free throw attempt.
After scoring 40 points in his previous game, Beal went to the bench with 5:08 left in the first half with three fouls.
Jazz: Gobert was fined $25,000 for making physical contact with an official in the third quarter of Utah’s 109-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. … Rodney Hood, who had three points Friday night in his return after missing seven games with a bone contusion in his knee, had nine points in the first quarter. … It was Utah’s first win in Washington since Nov. 17, 2012.
Wizards: The 39 points were the team’s lowest first-half total of the season. … Washington had reached 100 points in 23 straight games. … Last lost two in a row on Jan. 2-3 in back-to-back road games at Houston and Dallas.
BOOST FROM BOJAN
Bogdanovic, in his second game with Washington since being acquired in a trade with Brooklyn, scored 15 points in 33 minutes. “He plays hard,” Brooks said. “When you play hard you’re going to catch all of our eyes and you’re going to be on the court a lot longer than the guys that don’t.”
The Jazz tied a season high with 11 blocked shots, including four by Favors and four by Gobert, who altered numerous other shots he didn’t actually touch.
Jazz: Travel to Oklahoma City on Tuesday for the finale of a three-game road trip.
Wizards: Host the Warriors on Tuesday night.