The Utah Jazz won their third straight by beating the Charlotte Hornets 138-121 on the road on Friday.
- The Jazz hit a franchise record 26 3-pointers on 50 attempts, beating their previous record of 25, set earlier this season. It’s hard to beat any team that takes 50 3s and hits at a 52% clip.
- The Jazz had a few rough possessions to start the game but once they settled into their game and wrapped their minds around how the Hornets were going to defend them, Charlotte didn’t really have a chance. It might seem a little weird to say that about a game in which the Hornets trailed by single digits in the fourth quarter, but it’s true. The Jazz were in control, even if they faltered a bit.
- Part of the Jazz being able to break through the Hornets’ switch-heavy defense was utilizing their best pick-and-roll player, Joe Ingles, to get things moving in the first half. Ingles finished the night with a 10-point, 11-assist double-double.
- Bojan Bogdanovic continued to show that he might have cleared a hurdle in his return to normalcy, and he did it with an incredibly well-balanced performance — 31 points, seven rebounds, five assists and zero turnovers — that included a stretch where he hit four 3s in less than two minutes.
- There are probably going to be a lot of knocks to the Jazz starting slow or giving up large portions of their lead in the second half, but the Jazz were on the second night of a back-to-back on the road and they were dealing with foul trouble from Donovan Mitchell as well as a hamstring injury to Mike Conley. The fact that they pulled it all together and used a 10-0 run to close out the Hornets despite all the things they were dealing with is a really good sign for the Jazz.
- Before facing the Jazz on Friday, Hornets coach James Borrego said, “They put a lot of pressure on your defense to take away the rim and the 3. ... I don’t know many teams that can take away both the rim and the three from them.” That turned out to be some serious foreshadowing. No, you can’t really take everything away from the Jazz.
- LaMelo Ball finished with a game-high 34 points but honestly it’s his passing that impressed me the most. a
“Man, he’s good. I’m not gonna lie, I’m very impressed with one; his playmaking ability, his competitiveness, but also just his joy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him not smile throughout an entire game.” — Donovan Mitchell on LaMelo Ball
- When there is a huge mismatch for Rudy Gobert, the Jazz have to exploit that — it’s free points. They’re either not recognizing it, don’t trust Gobert with the ball there or Gobert is not demanding the ball. None of those reasons are OK.
- Conley leaving with an injury is concerning, not just because injuries are horrible but because of the way the Jazz have handled not having him on the floor. It seems to have been a trend this season that they don’t really react well when he’s taken out in an abnormal way, whether it’s foul trouble or injury, etc.
- With a chance to close out the third quarter with a commanding lead and for the starters to be able to have some time off on the second night of a back-to-back, the Jazz instead really looked bad through the final couple of minutes of the third quarter and allowed the Hornets to cut the lead to 16 at the end of the period. Some of the starters that had already taken a seat had to dust it off and come back in. The Hornets had all the momentum heading into the final frame and got the lead to single digits. The Jazz were dealing with a lot of weird stuff, like I said above, but they need to find a way to really keep their foot on the gas and not let teams have some confidence that late in a game.
“We’ve got to be a little bit better. We cannot permit those teams to have like 10-nothing or 12-nothing runs on us.” — Bojan Bogdanovic
- Did Donovan Mitchell forget how to dunk?? I’m joking ... kind of.