The Utah Jazz hadn’t lost three consecutive games all season long. And coming off of a pair of tough road losses in Dallas and Phoenix, Donovan Mitchell had absolutely no interest in starting their first real losing streak now.

“It was a must-win,” the Jazz’s All-Star guard said. “First off, we don’t lose two in a row and then you definitely don’t lose three. That’s the mindset. So this was a must-win.”

With that mindset, Mitchell and the Jazz used a decisive third-quarter performance on Thursday night to get back in the win column with a 122-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Jazz outscored Portland 40-19 in the third frame, holding the Blazers to 31.8% shooting on one end and getting to the rim and the foul line (where they hit 11 of 12 attempts) on the other.

Mitchell scored 13 of his game-high 37 points in the third quarter.

The Jazz been the league’s best 3-point shooting team this season, helping them to a league-best 39-13 record. But on Thursday, the Jazz made just eight triples, following up a poor shooting night Wednesday in Phoenix. The difference?

“Our defense was the biggest thing and our defensive rebounding in the third quarter broke the game open,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said.

Utah out-rebounded Portland 19-6 in the third, leading to a 9-0 advantage in second-chance points.

Overall, the Jazz won the rebounding battle 58-41.

“It’s something we’ve talked about all year and it’s something we have to continue to commit to and we have to commit to it at a high level,” Snyder said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight, just like [last night in Phoenix], but we got on the glass. We have to come up with them.”

“I think if we rebounded the way we rebounded tonight, we win the game against Phoenix,” said Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who had 21 rebounds himself to go along with 18 points.

Portland’s dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 40 points, but forward Norman Powell (10 points) was the only other Blazer to reach double-digit scoring totals Thursday.

The win moved the Jazz to 38-13 on the season and extended their franchise-record home winning streak to 23.



Derrick Favors has embraced a different role with different responsibilities than the ones he shouldered as a starter early in his Jazz career. So when head coach Quin Snyder was asked about Favors’ offensive impact this season, he didn’t focus on the backup center’s points per game.

“His ability to offensive rebound and keep plays alive has been something that’s been impactful,” Snyder said.

It was only fitting then that Favors’ grabbed a piece of Jazz history only after grabbing an offensive rebound on Thursday night.

The center tapped a missed shot back to Donovan Mitchell, who quickly dished it back to the big man for the bucket that moved him past Mehmet Okur for No. 10 on the Jazz’s all-time scoring list.

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The Sacramento Kings visit Vivint Arena on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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