Hood scores 29 points as Jazz beat Spurs
SALT LAKE CITY — Missing their leading scorer for the second consecutive game, the Utah Jazz needed Rodney Hood to score in bunches.
He did exactly that, including 11 fourth-quarter points to help Utah end a three-game losing streak.
Hood had 29 points and the Jazz fended off multiple comeback attempts by San Antonio to beat the Spurs 100-89 on Thursday (Friday Manila time).
Utah played without rookie guard and top scorer Donovan Mitchell, who missed his second consecutive game with a bruised right big toe.
“When Donovan is out, I have to be a lot more aggressive,” Hood said.
The Jazz led most of the way, but the Spurs fought back each time it appeared Utah was ready to put the game away.
Hood took over in the fourth quarter after San Antonio cut the lead to 82-81. Utah went on a 13-2 run with Hood scoring nine straight points, including a contested pull-up 3-pointer from the corner and a spinning, mid-range jumper to push the lead to 12.
“You noticed he was pretty good, huh?” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I thought they did a really good job in pick-and-roll, attacking and getting the ball to really open shooters. The last two 3s he hit, they were contested pretty well and he made great shots.
“In general they did a great job executing and finding the open man out of pick-and-roll and they really sliced and diced us in that regard. That was nice to watch in a weird sort of way.”
Ricky Rubio had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Derrick Favors finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Bryn Forbes led the Spurs with 12 points.
The Jazz led 50-38 at halftime thanks to a 14-point half by Hood. Utah used a 17-3 run spanning the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second, highlighted by back-to-back 3s from Joe Johnson and Rubio, to take a 30-17 lead.
The Spurs opened the third quarter with an 11-1 run as LaMarcus Aldridge warmed up and cut the lead to two. San Antonio answered each time the Jazz tried to pull away before Hood finally sealed it.
“We knew they were going to go on a run,” Hood said. “I saw daylight and just had to rise up and shoot the ball and make the right play when they started trapping me and blitzing me.”
The loss broke a three-game winning streak for the Spurs.
“There really shouldn’t be (any) excuses for mental mistakes,” San Antonio guard Patty Mills said. “We understand this is a long season and a long grind … but the other team is going through it as well. We just had too many of those tonight.”
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