Kyle Korver was added to boost the Jazz’s 3-point shooting. Consider it done — even if he didn’t do it all himself.
Everyone got in on the act Tuesday night, as 10 Jazz players combined for a franchise-record 20 shots made from beyond the arc, and Utah blew out the San Antonio Spurs 139-105 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The win was Utah’s third in four games, and improved the team’s overall record to 12-13 this season, and 3-6 at home.
“When you make a lot of 3s, it definitely helps for sure,” said star guard Donovan Mitchell, who finished with a team-high 20 points. “But just continuing to drive the ball, finding guys on the perimeter, finding the big fella for the lob, whatever it may be, just making the right play was huge for us.”
Mitchell, who came in making just 28.1 percent of his deep attempts, actually got the 3-point party started, drilling a pair on his first two shots. Joe Ingles got in on it. Jae Crowder got in on it. Korver, of course, got in on it.
And after struggling so frequently of late from beyond the arc, Utah made six in the opening 12 minutes alone to race out to a 34-20 lead.
“We haven’t been as focused on our spacing as we need to be all the time. And that’s what ultimately generates good shots — guys have to be unselfish, but you also have to space,” said coach Quin Snyder. “You may want to pass the ball to someone, but if they’re standing right next to you, it doesn’t really work. Donovan got a couple corner 3s because he ran to the corner — it’s amazing what that’ll do.”
At halftime, both the Jazz and the Spurs were shooting exactly 50 percent from the field, and the teams’ rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and turnovers were all within shouting distance.
Yet the Jazz led by 16 points.
The difference? OK, Utah did have a 13-2 advantage in free throws made. More important, though, was the 10-3 advantage in 3-pointers made. That’s 30 points to nine from deep.
The Jazz wound up making 20 of 33 shots from deep (60.7 percent). San Antonio finished 7 for 22 (31.8 percent).
“[Utah] had a tough time finding that 3-point hole during the year, and it caught up tonight,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “They knocked down a lot of shots, but they did it the right way — they had great penetration, they were very unselfish, and guys knocked down the shots. That makes a big difference when those things go in.”
Utah actually shot well everywhere, converting 60.7 percent of its field-goal attempts, while also going 17 of 20 (85 percent) at the free-throw line.
The Jazz also had a season-high 38 assists, with every player who entered the game recording at least one.
“We made some tough shots, but we did move the ball. Anytime you have a shooting night like that, you appreciate it. Tonight we shot the ball really well,” Snyder said. “We’re not gonna do that all the time — we were fortunate the ball went in tonight for a lot of guys.”
Korver’s gravity beyond the arc certainly helped, with additional spacing opening up either via defenders shading over toward him, or flat-out refusing to leave him.
The result was seven Jazz players scoring in double-figures, as Mitchell totaled 20, Rudy Gobert added 18, Korver had 15, Derrick Favors 14, Ingles 13, Ricky Rubio 12, and Royce O’Neale 11.
It helped that other players were making outside shots, as well. In all, 10 Jazz players hit a 3-pointer against the Spurs: Mitchell had four; Korver and Ingles three apiece; Rubio, O’Neale, and Crowder each hit two; and Thabo Sefolosha, Raul Neto, Dante Exum, and Georges Niang each contributed one.
Niang drilled the record 20th with 1 minute, 33 seconds left to play.
Mitchell said he could tell pretty much from the outset it was going to be a good night.
“After the first one, I felt pretty good. And then the second one, some fan screamed in my face, so I felt good after that one!” he said with a laugh. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. … Just shooting with confidence.”
JAZZ 139, SPURS 105
• Ten Jazz players combine to hit a franchise-record 20 shots from 3-point range in Tuesday’s demolition of San Antonio.
• Seven Jazz players score in double-figures, led by Donovan Mitchell’s 20.
• Mitchell comes in shooting just 28.1 percent from 3-point range, but makes the team’s first two, and and hits 4 of 6 overall.