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Utah Jazz sink Brooklyn Nets with hot-shooting third quarter

By Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange

NEW YORK -- If there was an indicator of how good things were going for the Utah Jazz during the third quarter, it occurred during consecutive possessions on plays made by forward Gordon Hayward.

Hayward totaled 21 points and nine assists as the Jazz had their most productive third quarter of the season and rolled to a 106-86 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.

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Hayward made 8 of 12 shots from the field in 31 minutes. He helped the Jazz do whatever they wanted during an impressive third quarter when they shot an astounding 72 percent from the floor (16 of 22) and scored 37 points, growing a 48-40 lead to 85-57.

Among the plays made by Hayward were a reverse layup with 4:23 remaining when he went around a screen by center Rudy Gobert and breezed past Brooklyn center Willie Reed and guard Donald Sloan.

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Less than a minute later, Hayward delivered his final assist with a bounce pass to center Jeff Withey for a dunk and a 73-50 lead. Hayward's running dunk with 2:15 left upped the lead to 80-55.

"We were playing well, Hayward said. "We were just rolling. Our offense was really moving and guys were making the right reads and we were getting good shots because of it."

Those hoops were among Utah's 24 in the paint during the third quarter when the Jazz had 10 dunks or layups.

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"It's great," Jazz guard Rodney Hood said. "He's been doing it a lot, just making plays, getting into the lane, scoring for himself and others. That's what we need from him and that's what he's been doing for the season.

While Hayward provided highlights in those sequences, others played a role in Utah bouncing back from consecutive overtime losses in Charlotte and New York.

"We played together and shared the ball," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "It showed. Everybody got into it and it was good to see the ball move."

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Hood added 16 points as Utah set season highs in field goal percentage (57.3 percent) and 3-point shooting percentage (56.3 percent) while placing seven in double figures.

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Gobert had five of Utah's 11 dunks and was one of three players with 10 points. He also helped defensively by limiting Brooklyn center Brook Lopez to eight points and eight shots from the field.

"Effort covers up a lot of mistakes, but it was just a lot of missed execution," Lopez said.

Reserve guard Bojan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 14 points and Reed added 12 as Brooklyn's starting lineup was held to 39 points on 16-of-35 shooting.

"They made shots, we didn't," Brooklyn forward Thaddeus Young said. "The same song and story as it's been the last couple of games."

The third quarter led to Utah's fourth win in 12 games and only its second victory in 12 road games. It also resulted in the Nets losing for the 10th time in 11 games and 13th time in 14 home games.

Before the Jazz waltzed past the Nets in the third quarter, Brooklyn actually had leads of 12-2 and 19-8. The Nets wound up losing their 11th game when holding a double-digit lead at some point and were outscored 100-67 in the final 41 minutes.

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Utah avoided playing a third straight overtime game for the first time in team history by gradually coming back. The Jazz outscored the Nets 14-5 in the final 5:02 of the first quarter to get within 23-22 after 12 minutes and never trailed after Hood coasted in for a layup with 7:29 left in the second quarter for a 32-30 lead.

NOTES: Quin Snyder is the 17th-longest tenured NBA coach since taking the Utah job on June 6, 2014. He took the position two weeks before David Blatt was hired in Cleveland. Asked about the coaching change with the Cavaliers, Snyder said, "I think it speaks to the volatility of the profession. You get in with eyes open. Obviously, there's a level of camaraderie that I think people in the coaching business feel for one another." ... The Nets reportedly hired David Nurse as a shooting coach. Nurse grew up with Atlanta Hawks F Kyle Korver and is being brought in to help some of the team's younger players, especially injured rookie swingman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. "I don't know him personally, I just know the name," interim coach Tony Brown said. "Clearly, there's an area that we can use help at, especially with our young players." ... Utah F Derrick Favors missed his 15th game with a back injury. He is around the team on road trips getting treatment, but there is not a timetable for his return.

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