Jazz start fast, pull away late to beat Hornets 112-102
Published 11:59 pm Monday, December 20, 2021
By John Coon
SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 112-102 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
Bojan Bogandovic added 23 points for the Jazz, who blew a 22-point lead but finished strong to snap a two-game home losing streak. Donovan Mitchell chipped in 21.
Gobert went 15 of 16 from the free throw line, setting a new career-high for made free throws. He matched his season high of nine by halftime.
LaMelo Ball led Charlotte with 21 points and 11 assists before fouling out in the final minute. Miles Bridges added 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Terry Rozier chipped in 20 points but the Hornets could not fully overcome another dismal start and dropped their third straight on the road.
Charlotte erased a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter and took a 92-91 lead on a dunk from Kelly Oubre Jr.
Mike Conley converted a three-point play to put Utah back in front. Bogdanovic buried back-to-back outside baskets and Mitchell also converted a three-point play to extend the lead to 104-95 with 1:22 left.
Charlotte opened the game by missing eight straight shots. The Hornets did not get their first basket until Bridges drove for a layup 4 ½ minutes into the first quarter.
A night after trailing 37-15 after the first quarter in Phoenix, the Hornets shot 5 of 24 from the field during the quarter, tying a season low for fewest field goals in a period.
Utah raced out to a 15-2 lead before Charlotte made a basket. Mitchell and Bogdanovic each scored a pair of baskets to help build the double-digit advantage. The Jazz extended their lead to 21 points later in the quarter, going up 29-8 on a 12-2 run bookended by two more baskets from Bogdanovic.
Charlotte trimmed the deficit to single digits again in the third quarter, closing within six points when Ish Smith buried a 3-pointer. Jordan Clarkson closed out the quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite a 15-4 run. Gobert punctuated the run with a pair of dunks that gave Utah an 89-72 lead with 8:28 remaining.
Hornets: Gordon Hayward did not play (low back discomfort) and Cody Martin missed his second straight game (health and safety protocols). … Charlotte fell to 1-7 in Monday games this season. … Rozier and Ball combined for only six first-half points.
Jazz: Royce O’Neale grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds, but also went 1 of 9 from the field. … Utah improved to 30-0 all-time when leading by at least 19 points after the first quarter. … The Jazz went 16 of 53 from 3-point range.
Hornets visit Denver on Thursday.
Jazz host Minnesota on Thursday.