Ingles verbal stoush fires Jazz in NBA

·3-min read

Angered by a jibe directed at chirpy Australian teammate Joe Ingles, Donovan Mitchell has scored a season-high 42 points as the Utah Jazz became the first team to post 40 wins this NBA season.

All-Star guard Mitchell had his 18th 30-point game this season and the Jazz (40-13) extended their franchise-record home winning streak to 24 games with a 128-112 NBA victory over the desperate Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

Veteran Joe Ingles again played a key role, adding 20 points and six assists off the bench as the Jazz home in on a deep run in the playoffs.

The final score belied the topsy-turvy nature of the game with the lead changing 17 times and the Kings (22-31) often made the vaunted Jazz defence look porous.

Ingles had a running conversation with several Kings, emphatically shouted after each of his three 3s powered Utah's 24-5 run that gave the Jazz a 98-89 lead early in the fourth period.

Ingles can talk trash with the best of them and it gets him going, but Mitchell turned his indignation into aggression.

"Somebody said something to Joe, and I'm gonna be honest, Joe gave an answer that I hadn't heard in a while," Mitchell said. "It just fired me up and when Joe gets angry, I get angry. ... That's really what turned the tide."

Mitchell and Ingles wouldn't divulge what made the trash talk in this game especially motivating, but Ingles said: "It lights something up in me that makes the game fun."

In Oklahoma City, Australian Ben Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers joined the Brooklyn Nets on top of the Eastern conference when they downed the Thunder 117-93.

Simmons had 13 points as Joel Embiid led the way with 27 points and nine rebounds in the road game.

In New York, a potential NBA Finals preview had a preseason feel with so many top names unavailable as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Nets 126-101.

Andre Drummond had 20 points and 11 rebounds for defending champions the Lakers and Dennis Schroder added 19 points before he and Nets star Kyrie Irving were ejected in the third quarter.

A nationally televised matchup already missing plenty of star power lost even more when Irving started jawing with Schroder and neither player stopped quickly enough for the officials.

Kevin Durant scored 22 points in his second game back for the Nets following a 23-game absence with his own hamstring injury while Irving added 18 but the Nets had their nine-game home winning streak snapped.

LeBron James (right ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (right calf strain) remain out for the Lakers, while James Harden is sidelined with a strained right hamstring for the Nets.

Besides James and Davis, who were sitting on the bench, the Lakers were also without Kyle Kuzma (left calf strain), Marc Gasol (left hamstring tightness) and Wesley Matthews (right Achilles tendon tightness).

The Lakers have fallen to fifth in the Western Conference during James' 11-game absence.