Notebook: Jazz 98, Bobcats 68



Posted Mar 2, 2013 12:34 AM

Andrew Aragon, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: They call them the "core four" in Utah and the Jazz's young building blocks showed that they comprise a solid foundation for the franchise's future.

Enes Kanter, making just his second start of the season, had the first 20-20 game of his career with career highs of 23 points and 22 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 98-68 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night. The Jazz snapped a three-game losing streak while recording their eighth straight win over Charlotte.

The rest of Utah's core four were strong for the Jazz, who were without starters and top two scorers Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Derrick Favors started in place of Millsap and had eight points and seven rebounds. Gordon Hayward added 14 points and four rebounds and Alec Burks chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.

DeMarre Carroll, who was listed as a game-time decision because of a left knee bone bruise and patellar tendinitis, poured in a career-high 19 points. Reserve and former Slam Dunk champion Jeremy Evans tied a career-high with 14 points and had a career-high nine rebounds.

For the Bobcats, who set a few season marks in futility on Friday, were led by a team-high 12 points from Byron Mullens. Charlotte's 68 points scored were a season low.

QUOTABLE: "I wasn't expecting a 20-20 game. It was my second time in the starting five. The first time, Al (Jefferson) helped me a lot. He just said if you're starting games to go out and be yourself and I did. Today in practice I talked to him and he said he wasn't going to go, so he told me when I catch the ball just go fast, get rebounds, try to be your best and don't be nervous. I appreciate him a lot because he helped me a lot."

-- Jazz center Kanter.

THE STAT: Utah destroyed Charlotte on the boards, recording a 62-24 advantage in rebounds. At one point, Kanter matched the Bobcats' entire rebounding total as each had 17 boards during a brief period in the third quarter. Kanter finished with just two fewer rebounds than the entire Charlotte team. Utah had 20 offensive rebounds, which helped it score 31 second-chance points and score 46 points in the paint. The Bobcats, with eight offensive rebounds, had just seven second-chance points.

TURNING POINT: The Jazz put the game away early with a 16-3 run bridged by the first and second quarters. Utah went ahead 27-11 after Hayward and Burks each scored five points during the run, and Evans capped it with a high-flying dunk. The Bobcats missed their final six shots of the first quarter and committed four turnovers during Utah's big run.

HOT: Utah's Randy Foye set a franchise single-season record for most 3-pointers by draining a 3-pointer in the second quarter, giving him 130 for the season. Mehmet Okur held Utah's old mark of 129. Foye should obliterate the record as the Jazz have 23 games remaining. Kanter, in just his second start of the season, had sizzling touch throughout the game. He shot 10-for-12, missing jumpers in the first and third quarters. It was Kanter's second double-double of his career. Evans shot 6-for-8 against Charlotte. He had made just 10 baskets this season entering Friday's game. Carroll shot 7-for-10 while putting up his career high in points.

NOT: Charlotte's starting five -- outside of an occasional spark from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist -- was pretty abysmal. Gerald Henderson, coming off a season-high tying 24 points against the Los Angeles Clippers, shot 2-for-9 and scored five points. He had averaged 16 points in Charlotte's previous 12 games. Kemba Walker also struggled, shooting 4-for-13. Mullens, although he was the team's points leader, didn't take advantage when he towered over defenders, and shot just 5-for-14. Ben Gordon's lack of interest off the bench was apparent, and he shot just 2-for-8 and scored five points. Lastly, Jeffery Taylor didn't help the Bobcats' shooting percentage off the bench, going 1-for-5 to score three points.

QUOTABLE II: "It was just a rough night. We couldn't get it going offensively at the start of the game and it just stuck throughout the entire game. You obviously could have played better defense and done better at rebounding, but you're not going to win if you can't score."

-- Bobcats guard Henderson.

GOOD MOVE: With their two leading scorers out, the Jazz focused on playing exceptional defense. They showed no mercy against the 29th ranked offense in the league. Utah set the tone early with active hands and notable communication, holding Charlotte to nine points on 20 percent shooting in the first quarter. The nine points scored by the Bobcats in the first quarter were the fewest scored by Charlotte in any quarter this season.

BAD MOVE: The Bobcats were too passive on offense. They were content to settle for jumpers in the first half while Utah was pulling away. In addition to not attacking, they didn't pass the ball well either. They shot just 25 percent, had five assists and recorded two fast-break points in the first half. That is not exactly putting the other team on its heels in a road game.

NOTABLE: It was the first time Jefferson and Millsap have missed the same game since they've been teammates. Utah used its 11th different starting lineup this season. The Jazz's 23-point halftime lead was their largest of the season. Charlotte's 24 first-half points tied a season low point total for a half. The last Jazz player to record a 20-20 game was Carlos Boozer in January of 2010.

UP NEXT: For the Bobcats, Sunday @ Sacramento, Monday @ Portland, Wednesday vs. Nets. For the Jazz, Monday @ Milwaukee, Wednesday @ Cleveland, Friday @ Chicago.