SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz won its second game in six tries behind a big performance from Derrick Favors Wednesday night. Favors led the Gobert-less Jazz with 27 points and seven rebounds in the 110-80 win over the Chicago Bulls.
“I knew I needed to be aggressive for us to win,” Favors said. “The guards did a good job finding me the ball.”
The Jazz tallied 23 assists to Chicago’s 14 and turned the ball over just seven times – a new season low.
“I loved how we shared the ball the whole game,” head coach Quin Snyder said. “You could feel it.”
Rodney Hood added 19 points for the Jazz, Alec Burks scored another 15 and Joe Ingles contributed 12 points on four 3s. Donovan Mitchell was 1 of 10 from the field and scored just four points, but the rookie guard led with seven assists.
“I knew they were going to try to stop me from scoring,” Mitchell said. “So I just wanted to be able to get to the paint, make them draw the defense and then kick it out.”
Chicago’s Robin Lopez led his team with 15 points, while Bobby Portis added 14 more points and eight rebounds.
It was a close, back-and-forth game through most of the first half. Each team ended the first quarter shooting 43.5 percent, and neither led by more than five until the second period.
“We were struggling with energy in the first half,” Hood said.
With the game tied at 38-all and just more than five minutes to go in the half, Raul Neto made a 3-pointer from the right corner, then followed it up with an inbound alley-oop to Mitchell the next time down the court. Neto’s plays were the beginning of the team’s 17-8 first-half finish to gave the Jazz a 55-46 advantage at the break. Six of Favors’ 14 first-half points came in during the stretch.
Three third-quarter 3-pointers from Jonas Jerebko, two from Hood and nine points from Favors allowed Utah to double its nine-point halftime lead to 18 before entering the final period. Burks scored 10 points during a 12-0 fourth-quarter run as the Jazz coasted to the win, improving its record to 8-11. The Bulls are now 3-13.
Unfortunately, Wednesday night’s game might be as easy as it gets for a while. According to Snyder, his team will likely be the underdog for most games in the foreseeable future.
“We’re heading into a month where I don’t know if we’ll be favored once,” he said.
Utah will play again Saturday night when the team hosts Milwaukee.