The Jazz jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, and it seemed like that was going to be a lead big enough to sustain the Jazz through a pretty bad shooting night.
Despite the fact that the Jazz weren’t shooting the ball well, finishing the night just 35.4% overall, they were still leading by eight points with just over five minutes left to play. When Rudy Gobert blocked the shot of LaMelo Ball and kept the ball inbounds it looked like the Jazz were about to make their final push and put the game away. But then things went south.
A couple of bad turnovers and missed opportunities led to the Jazz losing their lead. But rather than let things devolve into chaos, they took a timeout, took a moment to gather themselves, and came back to win the game, 112-102.
“Those things happen, but it’s how you respond,” Donovan Mitchell said. “You saw what we did after that — called a timeout, gathered ourselves ... We didn’t make shots but we played well, played solid. We turned the ball over, had some mishaps but we do a lot of good things.”
After blocking Ball’s shot, Gobert threw an outlet pass to Royce O’Neale, but Kelly Oubre was right there to intercept the pass. Ball got the rock back and finished off the play with a short push shot, cutting the Jazz’s lead to six.
On the very next possession Donovan Mitchell passed up the court to Bojan Bogdanovic, who lost the ball out of bounds on a drive. Terry Rozier hit a 3-pointer on the Hornets’ ensuing trip up the court and the Jazz’s lead was down to three points. Jazz head coach Quin Snyder called a timeout.
“Sometimes a timeout will help you get to the next play,” Snyder said. “There’s certain mistakes, because of what the potential is on the other end, that you feel them more. You go from you’ve got numbers and you’re going to score to all of a sudden they’re laying it in. That can be deflating. So, sometimes a timeout will help you collect yourself.”
The Jazz took a minute to talk about what was happening. The Hornets were pressuring full court and they were also making a point to stay home on shooters better than they were earlier in the game.
“We wanted Donovan and and Mike (Conley) to start to attack them right away,” Bogdanovic said. “Then I got two 3s and then Donovan and Mike had a couple free throws as well. So it was just to put the ball in their hands.”
The Jazz’s lead ball handlers turned the game around, Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale hit clutch shots and the Jazz scored 21-14 after the two costly turnovers.
“For us to overcome that I thought showed a lot of of commitment and a lot of connectivity,” Snyder said.