Melissa Majchrzak

The Roundup—Jazz take down Hornets for eighth straight win

by Matt Payne

And the streak continues.

After sweeping through a four-game road trip, the Jazz fought off a pesky Hornets team for their eighth straight win—a 106-94 victory at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Friday night.

Utah (27-28) currently sits in 10th place in the Western Conference standings, just two games out of playoff position.

Donovan Mitchell—who missed one game with the flu and then struggled to find his groove over the past two games—got back on track with a game-high 25 points. The rookie added six rebounds, three assists and a block in 39 minutes.

Joe Ingles scored a career-high 23 points, while Rudy Gobert finished with 20 points (plus 11 rebounds and two blocks) to mark the first game this season where Utah had three players with 20+ points.

Jonas Jerebko added 10 points off the bench in the win.

All-Star Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 19 points.

Friday's Best

Ingles' layup game was on point against the Hornets—he showed off his slow-motion scooping layup, his pump-fake layup, his wide-open transition layup, and his nearly-come-to-a-complete-stop-before-you-lay-it-up layup. Ingles also made three 3-pointers and added five rebounds, six assists and a block (his tenth of the season). His net rating of +30 was the highest of any player tonight.

Key Stretches

Utah got off to another hot start, jumping out to a 19-10 lead just five minutes into the game. Each Jazz starter got a bucket during that stretch, with Ingles leading the way with eight quick points. The Jazz got after it on the defensive end, too, as Ricky Rubio grabbed a steal and Derrick Favors stuffed a layup attempt by Walker. Ingles began the run with a transition layup, and Mitchell capped it off with a step-back three.

When the game got tight, the Jazz got defensive. Charlotte took a 38-34 lead, but four blocks—two by Gobert and one each by Ingles and Mitchell—kick-started a 21-8 Jazz run that left Utah with a nine-point lead at the half. Favors and Mitchell slammed down dunks, while Rubio made two layups and Gobert converted a left-handed baby hook and then a three-point play. Ingles and Mitchell added 3-pointers during the run.

Charlotte fought back to tie the game late in the third quarter before the Jazz closed the period on a 7-0 run. Ekpe Udoh made a layup and Ingles drilled a 3-pointer (both off assists from Raul Neto), and then Neto beat the shot clock with a driving layup of his own. The Jazz extended their lead to 12 with another layup from Udoh, two free throws by Ingles and a three-point play by Mitchell to start the fourth quarter. They would lead the rest of the way, with Favors punctuating the victory with a huge dunk late in the fourth.

Significant Stats

+28

The Jazz owned the paint, outscoring Charlotte 58-30 in the restricted area. Eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard, who entered the game averaging 15.8 points and 12.6 rebounds, was no match for Gobert and Favors. Howard managed only five points (on 2-for-7 shooting) and seven rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

+16

Utah outrebounded Charlotte 49-33 and held the Hornets to only five second-chance points.

29

Utah finished with 29 assists, with six Jazz players dishing out at least three. Rubio led the way with seven assists.

Coach's Quote of the Night

"With Joe, at first it was 'Oh, he's in the NBA.' And then, 'Maybe he can shoot' and 'He can defend.' Now, it's 'He can make plays.' Joe, in a lot of ways, epitomizes what we want to be in a program—and that's development. We hope that our guys can commit to that partnership and get better."

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

Notable

Rubio had six points and seven assists in 21 minutes before leaving the game early in the third quarter due to hip soreness. ... Jae Crowder, who came to Utah via trade on Thursday, did not play. He could make his Jazz debut on Sunday in Portland. ... The Jazz shot 14-for-17 (82.4 percent) from the free-throw line, including a perfect 8-for-8 in the fourth quarter. ... Utah shot 48.8 percent from the field. ... The Jazz are now 16-9 at home this season. ... There were seven ties and eight lead changes in the game.

Up Next

The Jazz will travel to Portland to face the Trail Blazers on Sunday night. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.