Aussie star explodes in career-best haul

Australian basketballer Joe Ingles made a career-high 34 points in Friday’s NBA game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.

However, it wasn’t enough for the Utah Jazz to avoid a major upset, with Washington breaking a five-game losing streak and securing a shock 131-122 victory.

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Replacing the injured Mike Conley, Ingles comfortably bettered his personal best of 27 points — which he had previously achieved six times — shooting 12/17 from the field and 8/10 from beyond the arc.

The 33-year-old also registered two assists and five rebounds during his 33-minute stint on the court.

Meanwhile, Utah guard Donovan Mitchell managed a team-high 42 points, six assists and four rebounds.

The bucket that got Joe 30 for the first time in his NBA career!#MACU3 | @MountainAmericapic.twitter.com/ZAZgfOTJS6

Without Joe Ingles, Jazz would be down by 20.

“We know with our record and the way we’ve been playing, people are going to give us their best shot night in night out, and we haven’t been ready for it,” Ingles told reporters after the loss.

“If we continue not to be, there’s going to be a miserable second half of the year.

“We need to play like we want to win a championship — like we want to not get knocked out in the first round. We need to come out aggressive like we did when we were an F’ing good team.”

Utah had recorded nine consecutive NBA wins over Washington before Friday’s nine-point defeat.

Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz.Source:AFP

Bradley Beal scored 43 points and Russell Westbrook produced a 35-point triple-double as the Wizards knocked off the NBA-leading Jazz.

“We didn’t have a choice but to guard or we were going to go down by 30,” Beal said.

“It was imperative that we left last night where it was and we came back with a different mindset that we were going to guard, and we did it for 48 minutes.”

The Jazz won 11 straight games in January and nine in a row in February, but are now trending in the opposite direction having lost six of their last 11 contests.

Utah will next face the Toronto Raptors in Florida on Saturday at 11am AEDT.

— with AFP

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