Hornets Quiet Jazz in Summer League Finale
Meeks Posts Double-Double, Charlotte Leaves Las Vegas on Winning Note
By Sam Perley
A finely-tuned first-half performance set the tone for the Charlotte Hornets early on as they cruised to an 84-74 win over the Utah Jazz in their final 2019 NBA Summer League contest on Saturday, July 13 in Las Vegas, NV.
Center Kennedy Meeks posted 18 points, a game-high 10 rebounds and four assists in just under 17 reserve minutes for the victorious Hornets. The former North Carolina Tar Heel and Charlotte native also shot a tidy 8-of-11 from the field as purple and teal exited the desert with a 2-3 record in Summer League play.
By far the team’s strongest start to any game this week, Charlotte led Utah by 16 after the opening quarter and stretched its advantage to 24 by the break after shooting 64.9% in the first half. The Jazz trimmed the deficit down to as little as nine halfway through the fourth, but couldn’t complete the comeback, finishing its stint in Nevada with an identical 2-3 mark.
Dwayne Bacon (11 points), Isaiah Hicks (10), Arnoldas Kulboka (9; 3-of-7 from three) and Miles Bridges (8) rounded out the primary scoring for the Hornets, although all but Kulboka sat out the entire second half. Rookie guard Josh Perkins chipped in five points and a team-high five assists, while starter Devonte’ Graham (coach’s decision) did not play for Charlotte.
Utah’s George King led all players with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting (4-of-10 from three) and five rebounds off the bench. Josh Sharma (12 points) and Stanton Kidd (10) were also both in double figures for the Jazz. Juwan Morgan (eight points, nine rebounds) and Jairus Lyles (nine points, eight rebounds) each narrowly missed double-doubles.
Third-year forward Tony Bradley – one of the leading rebounders at Summer League this year – was confined to the Jazz bench because of right toe soreness. Utah’s two second-round picks last month in Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman were also out with right hamstring tightness and a personal issue, respectively.
Charlotte did considerable damage on the turnover front, converting 22 Jazz giveaways into 27 points. The Hornets overall outshot the Jazz from the field, 48.0% to 36.8%, although allowed 19 offensive rebounds leading to 29 second-chance points for Utah. The Jazz never led in the contest and trailed by as many as 29 at one point.