Red-hot Mitchell leads Jazz into Cleveland

NBA

Donovan Mitchell consistently has been hitting some high notes even though the Utah Jazz primarily have been off-key following the All-Star break.

Mitchell has reached the 30-point plateau in a career-best four consecutive contests heading into Utah’s opener of a four-game road trip against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

The third-year guard collected 30 points and eight rebounds on Friday as the Jazz snapped a four-game skid with a 129-119 victory over Washington. Mitchell highlighted that surge by scoring 10 points in a span of 1:22 during the fourth quarter.

“This is a good feeling,” the 23-year-old Mitchell said. “Obviously we’ve been going through a little bit of a rough stretch, and this win feels really good, but I want to keep it in perspective. It’s one win, and we’ve got to keep it moving forward.

“… I want to keep things in perspective. I don’t want to get too high, too low, and we have another one in Cleveland but we ended it off the right way.”

Mitchell is averaging career-best totals in points (24.8), rebounds (4.4), field-goal percentage (45.8), 3-point percentage (36.7) and free-throw percentage (85.4) this season.

Jordan Clarkson recorded 20 points and a season-high eight rebounds off the bench against the Wizards. The 27-year-old has scored at least 20 points in 11 of his 29 games since being acquired from Cleveland on Dec. 26.

“Jordan has that ability to make plays — in addition to scoring the ball, he went in a couple of times and made the right play and passed it,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “He made a real impact.”

Bojan Bogdanovic answered a dismal start following the All-Star break by scoring 21 points on Friday. The 30-year-old, who made just 1 of 8 shots for three points in Utah’s 114-103 setback to Boston on Wednesday, made just 11 of 41 shots from the floor during the four-game skid following the All-Star Game.

Cleveland answered a demoralizing 1-13 run by winning four of five before enduring a painful weekend in which it lost back-to-back contests.

The Cavaliers dropped a 113-104 decision to Indiana on Saturday after being outscored 27-18 during the fourth quarter. Cleveland didn’t help itself by making 10 turnovers in the second half, much to the dismay of coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

“Guys have to play with each other in those moments,” Bickerstaff said. “They haven’t had the opportunity to play together in those moments yet. Just gaining the experience and figuring each other out, we’ll learn from it, we’ll keep getting better.”

Two-time All-Star Andre Drummond collected 27 points and 13 rebounds in his return from a two-game absence because of a strained calf.

Kevin Love added 20 points and 12 boards, with the two splitting long touchdown passes to the other during one memorable sequence in the third quarter.

“For me I like to pass,” Love said. “So if the Browns need a backup quarterback, you know where to find me. I’m pretty accurate.”

Collin Sexton may not always be accurate, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying. Sexton has made 27 of 52 shots over his last three games, averaging 25.0 points in the process.

–Field Level Media

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