WASHINGTON — While the Washington Wizards were starting their new life under their interim head coach, the Utah Jazz were trying to, and succeeded in, getting back to what their new normal was for over the past month.
Lauri Markkanen scored 29 points, including nailing six three-pointers, as the Jazz defeated the Wizards 123-108 to snap a three-game losing streak. After taking an eight-point lead at halftime at 64-56, Utah shot 13-for-23 from the field in the third quarter, while holding the Wizards to 42 percent during that span to take a 20-point lead, cruising to victory from there.
“Just got back to our normal self,” Markkanen said. “It wasn’t perfect tonight, but we definitely brought the energy.”.
John Collins had 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz while Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points in just 21 minutes off the bench. Utah outrebounded the Wizards 57-42.
Washington was under the direction of interim head coach Brian Keefe, as the Wizards announced earlier on Thursday that Wes Unseld Jr. would no longer be the head coach and move into a front-office role.
“I was pleased with the process tonight,” Keefe said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well. I think we had 33 assists and we only made seven 3s, so that’s good. We played at the pace we wanted to. If we made those shots, we would have been right there. But I was proud of our resilience within the game. That was really important to me.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday evening’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Yusuf Abdullah. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 22 pictures in total.