WASHINGTON (AP) — Even on their biggest roll in two years, the Utah Jazz believe they can get a lot better.
Bojan Bogdonovic scored 31 points, Rudy Gobert added 21 points and 14 rebounds and the Jazz beat the Washington Wizards 127-116 on Sunday for their ninth straight victory.
Utah overcame a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to win for the the 14th time in 15 games and climb up to second place in the Western Conference.
“It’s pretty good, but we feel like we can be a lot better,” Gobert said. “The goal is not just to be second in the West, but be the best team in the West at the end of the playoffs.”
Jordan Clarkson added 17 of his 23 points in the second half for the Jazz, one of six players in double figures as team scoring leader Donovan Mitchell sat out because of an illness.
“Obviously, Donovan is one of our key guys, so there’s always going to be a lot of adjustment, a little different from any player,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “I thought our guys did a really good job of absorbing that collectively.”
Bradley Beal scored 25 points for Washington after missing five games with right leg soreness.
Davis Bertans added 18 points and Jordan McRae had 16 . Washington lost at home for the first time in four games after letting the third-quarter lead evaporate.
“I think our aggression on both ends of the floor kind of slipped,” Beal said. “Turning the ball over, shot selection. Sometimes we had a lot of one-pass shots, no-pass shots. We were kind of slow pushing the pace.”
Utah had a 21-3 run to take an 83-80 lead late in the third quarter. Clarkson gave Utah its first advantage since midway through the first quarter with a driving layup that made it 81-80, and followed that with a floater.
The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the third, but Gobert’s layup gave Utah the lead for good with 10 seconds left in the quarter.
The Jazz opened the fourth on a 14-5 run to build their lead to 11. Washington would close it to within three once, but Gobert’s three dunks inside the final four minutes helped seal the win.
“He does a good job of just being seven feet, and using his arms and his length to his advantage,” Beal said.
Nets 108, Hawks 86
NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 21 points in 20 minutes of an easy return from a two-month absence with an injured right shoulder, leading the Brooklyn Nets over the Atlanta Hawks.
Irving shot 10 for 11 from the field after missing 26 games with an impingement. The shoulder looked fine and his handle looked as good as ever while he dribbled his way around a hopeless Atlanta defense.
Energized by his return that still seemed a ways away just a week ago, the Nets led by 39 points and won their second straight after dropping seven in a row.
Cam Reddish scored 20 points for the Hawks. They played without star guard Trae Young because of a left hamstring injury and lost their fourth straight.
Spurs 105, Raptors 104
TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points, Rudy Gay had 15 and San Antonio overcame an 18-point deficit to beat Toronto.
San Antonio used a big fourth quarter to win for the third time in four games. Derrick White scored 13 points for the Spurs, and LaMarcus Aldridge had 11. DeRozan also had eight rebounds and four assists against his former team.
Serge Ibaka had 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for Toronto. Kyle Lowry had 16 points and a season-high 15 assists.
Grizzlies 122, Warriors 102
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 31 points and a season-high 19 rebounds and Memphis handed Golden State its eighth straight loss.
Valanciunas was 13 of 17 from the field, including a 3-pointer to help the Grizzlies win their fifth straight. Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 21 points, and Ja Morant had 11 points and 10 assists.
D’Angelo Russel led the Warriors with 34 points in his return from a right shoulder injury.
Knicks 124, Heat 121
NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Randle scored 26 points, RJ Barrett chipped in 23 and New York rallied to beat Miami.
Kevin Knox had 17 points off the bench and Reggie Bullock added 16 to help the Knicks snap a five-game losing streak.
Jimmy Butler had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat.