Hornets Quiet Jazz with Strong Finish

Charlotte Shuts Down Utah with 4th-Quarter Defensive Stand

By Sam Perley, hornets.com


A bright day for the hometown Hornets ended on a rather positive note as they knocked off the Utah Jazz, 99-88, on Friday, Jan. 12 in Charlotte. Roughly 24 hours earlier, news broke that Head Coach Steve Clifford would be returning to the team next week after taking time away to address a health issue. The Hornets responded accordingly with a trademark defensive effort while also getting six double-digit scoring performances in the game as well.

Turning Point

With the score knotted at 85-85 midway through the fourth quarter, the Hornets uncorked a dominant 14-3 run to close out the game and seal the victory. In the final 12 minutes overall, Charlotte outscored Utah, 25-16, after holding the visitors to just 4-of-17 shooting in the frame (23.5 percent) and also converting five Jazz turnovers into eight total points.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Marvin Williams gear here)

Marvin Williams finished with 15 points (seven in the fourth quarter), seven rebounds and a season-high-tying three steals in the victory. Williams now has eight 15-point games this season, including two in his last three outings.

Jazz Player of the Game

Donovan Mitchell exploded for a game-high 35 points (5-of-11 from three-point range), five rebounds and two steals in the loss. This is the highest-scoring game by a rookie against the Hornets since New Orleans’ Marcus Thornton had a 36-point outing on April 7, 2010.

Game Notes

Kemba Walker racked up a team-high 22 points and a game-high-tying six assists… Frank Kaminsky added 16 points and three rebounds off the bench… Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (12 points), Jeremy Lamb (11 points) and Nicolas Batum (11 points) also scored in double figures for Charlotte… Dwight Howard chipped in eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds… The Hornets tallied 14 points off 15 Utah turnovers while the Jazz had just four points on 13 takeaways… Charlotte also outscored Utah in second-chance points (13-7) and fast-break points (11-5)… The Hornets have won four-consecutive games at Spectrum Center against the Jazz (2015-18), after losing five-straight home meetings from 2009-13.

Quote of the Night

“Well, on the anniversary of Bobby Phills’ passing, that’s a good win for him. Guys played well. I really wanted to make sure that we had a variety of offense tonight, and we did so. We had a post-up game, we had a pick-and-roll game, we had a catch-and-shoot game. We did a really, really good job on the defensive end tonight.” – Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas

Next Up

The Hornets will have a quick turnaround as they wrap up their homestand against the Oklahoma City Thunder starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13 in Charlotte. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.