At the end of a marathon, a finishing kick is always appreciated — any way you can get it.

Maybe that’s what powered Rodney Hood’s legs late in a grinder of a fourth quarter, as he sank a corner 3-pointer before floating out of bounds.

It was a tough shot — one that seemed out of place as the road-weary Jazz (15-18) came to the end of the most brutal portion of their season. But that lift gave Utah what it needed to end a three-game skid and squeeze out a 100-89 win over the San Antonio Spurs (22-11) from the throes of this particularly harsh December.

“I think that’s all it was: energy,” Hood said. “We was all real tired before the game coming off a long road trip. But we came out with a lot of energy, and I think that was the key to the game.”

Hood was at the center of the effort, launching 3-pointers and other jumpers with the polish that was both promised and expected since the offseason. Back in the starting lineup for injured rising star Donovan Mitchell, Hood retook his position as Utah’s leading scorer.

The fourth quarter saw the Jazz go on an 18-8 run to finish the game after the Spurs had pulled to within 82-81.

“I think tonight he knew in the fourth that he was going to have to step up and provide us some offense,” coach Quin Snyder said. “Rodney’s capable of doing that. He’s an explosive offensive player. I think he knew we needed that tonight and he responded.”

There were also strong performances from other Jazzmen, such as Derrick Favors, who scratched out 14 points and nine rebounds while still sporting a bandage over his left eye. Despite another turnover-plagued night, Ricky Rubio added a double-double: 11 points and 11 rebounds while occasionally flashing the fastbreak potential that has been uneven in his Jazz tenure.

It was Utah’s first win without Mitchell, who has quickly become one of the team’s most important players since he was drafted.

In the two weeks since the Jazz were last featured on national television at home, they had seen their starting center and rookie phenom sidelined with injuries and lost seven of eight games in the midst of an unforgiving schedule. But maybe all they needed was some home cooking.

Before the fourth quarter began, the Jazz Bear perched himself above team cheerleaders and waved an oversized sign: “THIS IS OUR HOUSE.” The Jazz seemed to take that to heart.

While Utah looked every bit the tired team in Oklahoma City, it started with more bounce than the Spurs.

Utah took an early edge in the first quarter as San Antonio — off a win in Portland the night before — struggled to find shots. Hood, on the other hand, surged in his second straight start: He made six of his first 11 shots.

By halftime, Hood had 15 points and the Jazz had a 50-38 lead.

“It was a good team effort,” Favors said. “We came out with a lot of energy on the defensive end. … Just tried to make it hard for them.”

That quickly was swept away in the third quarter, as the Spurs launched one of their timeless and inevitable comeback efforts. Before the Jazz logged their first basket of the half, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Bryn Forbes each scored to close the lead to two points.

The back and fourth continued for most of the second half: As the Jazz threatened to pull away, San Antonio would manufacture a run of their own. Rubio helped Utah get ahead by eight points, but by the end of the third, it was only two.

Joe Ingles and Alec Burks made big 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter, but Tony Parker made time-defying contested layups to help bring the Spurs back before Utah’s final run.