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Instant analysis: Georges Niang leads fourth quarter surge as Jazz beat Hornets

The Utah Jazz surged back from an 11-point deficit to beat the Charlotte Hornets, 132-110, on Monday night at Vivint Arena.

Utah Jazz forward Georges Niang (31) reacts to scoring a three pointer during an NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Niang scored 21 points in the game. The Jazz won 132-110.
Utah Jazz forward Georges Niang (31) reacts to scoring a three pointer during an NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Niang scored 21 points in the game. The Jazz won 132-110.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz surged back from an 11-point deficit to beat the Charlotte Hornets, 132-110, on Monday night at Vivint Arena.

High Notes

  • The Jazz played a pretty bad first half, a just okay third quarter and had one spectacular quarter and that was really all they needed. They were supposed to win this game, they are the better team and they proved that by underwhelming through most of the night and still coming away with a pretty convincing win.
  • The Jazz hit a franchise record 28-of-55 3-pointers against the Hornets. Even if you play really great basketball, if you let guys take open 3s at that high of a clip, it’s going to be really hard to win.
  • Obligatory Georges Niang 3-point appreciation line. In just under 16 minutes Niang went 7-of-7 from deep, earning him a water bottle shower from his teammates and a walk-off interview. This season Niang has been shooting well below the percentages from previous seasons and for a guy that works that hard and is totally capable, it’s really nice to see him have a breakout moment of that magnitude.

“When you’re in a rhythm and shots are going in life is really good. You just feel like you’re in a zone and, obviously, as you can see I was in that zone and obviously when you’re in it, it feels really good.” —Georges Niang

  • Jordan Clarkson remains a complete lightning bolt.
  • Donovan Mitchell can have a pretty bad game and make you forget about it with three or four consecutive impact plays during a run.
  • Rudy Gobert’s defensive value should never be underestimated. The Jazz don’t have the big run they needed to put the game away if Gobert isn’t there to lock things down.

“If we don’t play defense we’re not going to go nowhere. We figured that out. Sometimes you’ve got to get a slap in the face like we did, like we had in the first half tonight. It’s just a little reminder that if we don’t play defense we’re not as good.” —Rudy Gobert

  • A note on technical fouls. Rudy received his second tech of the season after hitting the floor and screaming at the officials when they charged a foul to him and he felt it was the wrong call. That was quickly followed by Quin Snyder lashing out at the officials, earning himself a technical too. Then Snyder jumped to Gobert’s defense and challenged the play. Snyder often uses his challenges to show support for the players, even when the right call was originally made and I really like that approach. Also, a technical foul for being frustrated and emotional is one that I’ll never be mad at. You’d rather have players on the court that care that deeply about a single play than you would players who don’t care.
  • The Jazz’s fourth quarter in numbers: 41 points (to Charlotte’s 20), 11-of-16 from deep, four blocks (three of which came from Gobert), three steals and 13 of the Jazz’s 15 made field goals were assisted. Really impressive stuff.

Low Notes

  • It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Jazz on Monday. They did a lot of ugly and very un-Jazz things through much of the first three quarters
  • Bad timing on switches.
  • Horrible turnovers.
  • Lazy passes.
  • Sloppy defense.
  • Lack of effort

“We didn’t do a lot of little things right in the first half and I think that’s why there was a storm, beginning with getting back with enough urgency. They were able to get to the rim in transition and we just we didn’t get stops. We weren’t we weren’t playing the way we needed to play defensively.” —Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

  • There are going to be games they can get away with all that stuff, which was true of Monday night’s contest. But they can’t afford to play three quarters of subpar basketball against better opponents. They were lucky it was Charlotte.

Flat Notes

  • I’ll be dedicating this section to myself. Everyone is bound to have a bad Zoom moment, wifi is never as reliable as you want it to be. I was the latest victim of spotty wifi during an interview on Monday. Apologies to everyone who watched the postgame interviews and had to listen to me stutter and sound like a robot, nothing I could do about it. Even more apologies for this ‘instant analysis’ not being so instant. The internet gods were not kind to me tonight.

“Sarah, I’m sorry I couldn’t, I only heard little parts of the question. Which player did you say? George? Jordan or George? —Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

“Ugh.” —Sarah Todd