Facebook Twitter

Analysis: Jazz rebound from fourth-quarter mistakes to take down Hornets

SHARE Analysis: Jazz rebound from fourth-quarter mistakes to take down Hornets
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell shoots a 3-pointer over Hornets players

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots a 3-pointer during an NBA game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021.

Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz hung on to beat the Charlotte Hornets 112-102 despite a cold shooting night on Monday at Vivint Arena.

High Notes

  • The Jazz played about 45 minutes of really good basketball and despite a momentary lapse in judgement in the middle of the fourth quarter they played spectacularly in the closing minutes of the game.
  • There’s two big things that stand out as good signs from this win. First, the Jazz jumped out to 21-point lead in the first quarter and that seemed like it was going to be enough to sustain them, despite the fact that it seemed like they couldn’t hit an open shot to save their life. They had a ton of wide-open, practice-type shots and that’s the result of really good offense. The Jazz just didn’t make shots and that’s going to happen sometimes. The good thing is that they played good defense and kept generating the same looks with ball movement. Secondly, the Jazz let things slip for a couple of minutes in the fourth quarter. A couple of consecutive turnovers led to the Hornets taking the lead and the Jazz were being pressured. There were two ways things could have gone at that point; either the Jazz crumble and keep making mistakes, or they turn things around. This time, they really turned things around, pressed the gas pedal all the way down to the floor and didn’t let Charlotte think that this one was going to be easy just because they’d been handed a couple of buckets off turnovers. That’s a mature way to win a game.
  • Rudy Gobert would have probably been on a triple-double watch for the second half if the Jazz had made some of their open looks. He was wheeling and dealing in addition to doing all the things he usually does well. Alas, the Jazz missed shots and he finished with a measly 23 points and 21 rebounds (sarcasm). Probably more impressive than anything though was his 15 made free throws off of 16 attempts — a career-high in made free throws for the big man. When everyone else was struggling he was playing in traffic and taking contact, then converting when and where it mattered most.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell all deserve some praise for their individual efforts on Monday. They all had critical plays in critical moments and were all clutch in their own way at the right time. Again, in addition to the other things that they contribute on a regular basis.

Low Notes

  • The short stint in the fourth quarter when the Jazz turned the ball over on consecutive possessions to give Charlotte the lead was a messy sequence. It seemed like a classic case of the Jazz losing focus. But, like I said, the fact that they rebounded from that mental lapse was a good thing. The fact that the mental lapse came at such a crucial part of the game was a tad concerning.
  • A few stretches of rough minutes from both Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gay. The Jazz definitely relied on their top guys to run the show and right the ship on Monday. But I guess an honorable mention should be given to Gay, who actually got his legs under him and dunked the ball in traffic. But then the next time he tried it didn’t go so well.
  • Woof, that Charlotte defense is rough.

Flat Notes

  • Probably Trent Forrest’s worst game of the season. He had missed defensive assignments, a live-ball turnover, and was completely ignored when he was near the perimeter without the ball.