Donovan Mitchell is back and Kyle Korver is on the way.
Things certainly looked much better for the struggling Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Mitchell, who played AAU in Manhattan, returned from a two-game absence with 29 points, taking over down the stretch and leading the Jazz to a 101-91 victory over the Nets.
Mitchell scored 12 points in the final 5:42 to help Utah seize control of a close game. He showed no effects from his bruised ribs and shook off news of a trade shortly before the game that sent teammate Alec Burks to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the deal for Korver.
“I think it was tough for me. I was just kind of like, ‘Whoa!’ It took me by surprise,” Mitchell said. “But you know, I think we did a good job of not letting that affect us on the floor. I think we stayed focused with the task at hand. But I missed my guy, for sure.”
Rudy Gobert had 23 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Jazz, who bounced back from a miserable performance in their last game without Mitchell, a 121-88 home loss to Indiana on Monday. They had dropped four of five and took a while to get going Wednesday but thrived at the end thanks to Mitchell, who scored mostly on drives into the lane and nailed a 3-pointer that made it 93-89.
Utah outscored the Nets 31-13 in the fourth quarter.
“We got stops,” Gobert said. “Everyone was locked in, everyone was communicating and when we get stops we can score on the other end, and that’s what we did.”
The Jazz agreed to the Korver deal just before the game, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. Utah entered 29th in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 31.9 percent and Korver, fourth in NBA history in 3-pointers made, should certainly improve that area.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 18 points off the bench for the Nets, who dropped their season-high fourth straight. D’Angelo Russell was 6 of 25 for 14 points.
“I think they had a great scouting report against us, whatever it was. I’ll watch the film,” Russell said. “But I think they did a great job staying attached to our shooters and being in the right place in rotations.”
The Nets missed their first six shots and the Jazz their first five, and it took a while before either heated up. The Nets started 4 for 19 but trailed only 17-16 after one quarter.
Both teams did score 26 in the second, leaving Utah up 43-42 at halftime. The Nets opened an 11-point lead in the third quarter but it was mostly all Mitchell and the Jazz in the fourth.
Jazz: Ricky Rubio was 0 for 9 from the field, scoring six points. … Joe Ingles made his 530th 3-pointer, tying Darrell Griffith for fourth on Utah’s career list. Ingles will soon catch Bryon Russell (540) for third but remains far behind John Stockton (845) and Gordon Hayward (689).
Nets: Jarrett Allen had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double in 20 games this season, doubling his total from his rookie season, when he played in 72 games. … Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 14 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for his first double-double. … The Nets are 0-3 on a four-game homestand.
DETAILS OF THE DEAL
In exchange for Korver, the Jazz dealt guard Alec Burks along with two future second-round draft picks to the Cavaliers, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the swap had to be approved by the NBA. The 37-year-old Korver played for Utah from 2007-10.
Jazz: Visit Charlotte on Friday.
Nets: Host Memphis on Friday.