The Washington Wizards’ 125–121 win versus the Utah Jazz on Monday night started with an early Utah turnover, which led to a Russell Westbrook and-one and a three-point lead. Neither team had much trouble scoring early on, as the two squads totaled 27 points in the first five minutes of play. The frantic back-and-forth of the early stages of the match would set the stage for a high-scoring affair.
In his first game since March 29, Daniel Gafford (playing on limited minutes), acquired from Chicago at the trade deadline, provided an instant spark off the bench — the gritty center threw down two lobs and was a presence at the rim — he finished with 15 points and four rebounds off the bench. Bradley Beal, who was meant to be on a minutes restriction, had 10 first-quarter points. Unsurprisingly, Washington (20–33) gave up 42 points, 17 of which belonged to Donovan Mitchell, in the first 12 minutes.
Continuing the energy trend from the bench unit, Robin Lopez and Raul Neto combined for 13 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field in the second. With Mitchell, who had a game-high 42 points, resting for the first four minutes of the second, the Wizards were able to stay competitive. And at the 7:21 mark of the period, the visitors went up one following a Beal (34) dish and a Westbrook slam. It took over five minutes for Washington to miss their first field goal of the second, which helped send them into halftime up five; the Wizards outscored the Jazz 37–23 in the second quarter.
Both Washington and Utah continued to get to the charity stripe; they shot a total of 59 free throws. The slugfest continued into the third as the two sides galloped up and down the court. Beal and Westbrook kept the show going for Washington, while Bojan Bogdanovic (33), Joe Ingles (18) and Mitchell matched the intensity on the other side for Utah (40–14). The scoring heated up late in the frame, encapsulated by four made threes made — a trio for Davis Bertans and one for Ish Smith. A 19–9 run to end the third saw the Wizards up 10 after 36 minutes.
Less than a minute into the fourth, Washington surpassed the 100 mark. The away side pushed the lead to 19, but the West’s top team would not go home quietly. D.C. Head Coach Scott Brooks called for a breather after Mitchell hit a deep three, breaking a lengthy scoring drought. Minutes later, a Bogdanovic deep-shot forced timeout number two. With the script becoming all too familiar at this point, another stoppage was called after an Ingles trey. And despite opening the door to a furious Jazz comeback, Beal and Westbrook — who notched his 23rd triple-double of the season: 25 points, 14 boards and 14 assists — did enough to upend one of the league’s deepest squads.
The Wizards have one more road game left on their road trip this Wednesday when they play the Sacramento Kings. Tip-off is at 10 p.m. ET.