LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Donovan Mitchell returned from an eight-game injury absence to score 27 points for the Utah Jazz, who handed the Brooklyn Nets a seventh straight NBA defeat, 125-102 yesterday.
Mitchell hadn’t played since suffering a concussion when he took an elbow to the head in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 17.
He stepped right up, however, connecting on eight of 10 shots from the floor with six three-pointers and six assists.
It was a confidence-boosting performance for a player who admitted he’d been “kind of nervous” as his symptoms persisted.
“It was bad,” Mitchell said. “The headache, the nausea were pretty messed up. It was tough because we’ve been going through a tough stretch,” he said of his enforced absence.
With Rudy Gobert still sidelined, Eric Paschall scored 16 points and Hassan Whiteside added 15 for the Jazz, who never trailed against the depleted Nets.
Brooklyn were without two of their ‘Big Three’ with Kevin Durant still recovering from a knee sprain and James Harden nursing a tight hamstring. LaMarcus Aldridge and Joe Harris were also absent.
Kyrie Irving scored 15 points and rookie Cam Thomas had a career-high 30, but the Nets trailed by 21 entering the fourth quarter and never got any closer.
MAVS POWER UP
In Dallas, Luka Doncic scored 33 points in a triple-double to power the Dallas Mavericks to a 107-98 come-from-behind NBA victory over the Philadelphia 76ers yesterday.
Slovenian star Doncic added 13 rebounds and 15 assists, his eighth career game of at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists. Only Oscar Robertson – with 22 – has more.
“I try to play games and win,” Doncic said of the impressive stat. “I have fun out there. As long as we win I’m good. We came back from two not-so-great losses. We stepped it up, we bounced back and that’s how we have to play.”
Philadelphia’s Most Valuable Player candidate Joel Embiid scored 27 points and the Sixers led by 10 at halftime. But Dallas roared back on the strength of determined defence, holding Embiid to nine points after the break.
CAVS HOLD OFF HORNETS
In Charlotte, the Cleveland Cavaliers fended off a furious Hornets rally to snatch a 102-101 victory in wild style.
Jarrett Allen scored 29 points and pulled down 22 rebounds for Cleveland, and Kevin Love made two free throws to seal the win with 1.2 seconds remaining.