Wizards, under new management, fall to Jazz

Lauri Markkanen and John Collins had big nights to help the Utah Jazz snap a three-game losing streak with a 123-108 road win over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

Markkanen scored 29 points, sinking six 3-pointers, and Collins totaled 22 points and 16 rebounds as Utah improved to 1-2 on its six-game road trip.

The Wizards took their sixth consecutive loss and 12th in 13 games on the same day that the organization relieved Wes Unseld Jr. of his coaching duties and named top assistant Brian Keefe to be interim head coach.

Unseld, who guided the team to a 7-36 start, will remain with the Wizards in a front office position. The team will conduct a coaching search in the offseason.

Kyle Kuzma led Washington with 26 points and added six rebounds and five assists. Jordan Poole scored 18 points, Daniel Gafford and Deni Avdija each had 13 points, and Tyus Jones dished out 14 assists while scoring 12 points.

Jordan Clarkson and Kelly Olynyk each added 19 points off the bench for Utah, which shot 51.5 percent from the field. The Jazz also hit 13 of 31 (41.9 percent) from 3-point range.

The game started positively for Washington. Kuzma scored six quick points and a Poole 3-pointer put the Wizards up 13-4.

Utah quickly erased the deficit and took a 17-15 lead after 3s by Simone Fontecchio and Markkanen sparked a 13-2 run.

Kris Dunn soon ignited the Jazz on a 14-0 spurt with back-to-back inside buckets, followed by two baskets apiece by Markkanen and Fontecchio.

Washington used a 9-0 run late in the first half to pull within five, but Sexton hit a 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining to send the Jazz into the locker room ahead 64-56.

The Jazz dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Wizards 34-22 to snag a 20-point lead.