Brent Asay/Utah Jazz
The Roundup—Jazz 105, Hornets 98
What a night.
In a game of huge runs and wild momentum swings, the Utah Jazz caught fire late to lock down an emphatic 105-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets in front of a raucous crowd at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The Jazz (32-19) trailed by 12 early on, then took an 11-point lead midway through the third quarter before the Hornets shot the lights out en route to a 10-point lead. Utah, though, closed the game on a 23-6 run to claim the victory.
Gordon Hayward led all scorers with 33 points, while George Hill (25 points) and Joe Johnson (18 points) also came up huge in the win.
Rudy Gobert stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, 15 rebounds, two steals and three blocks, and Danté Exum chipped in 11 points and three assists off the bench.
Kemba Walker scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half to lead six Charlotte players in double figures. Former Jazz forward Marvin Williams double-doubled with 16 points and 12 rebounds in the loss for the Hornets (23-28).
Hayward was all over the place, drilling threes, throwing down dunks in traffic, putting in tough midrange jumpers. He finished with a season-high 33 points on 13-for-20 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 from the line, and he added eight rebounds, two assists and a steal. It was Hayward's sixth game with 30+ points this season.
Charlotte went on a 33-10 run in the third quarter, but the Jazz fought back in a big way, closing the game with a 23-6 run of their own to seal the victory. With Utah trailing by 10, Hill sank two free throws and a three to cut the gap to five with 7:34 left in the game. Hayward grabbed an offensive board and put in a layup, then sank a 12-foot jumper. After two Charlotte buckets, Hayward made a jumper and Hill tied it with a corner three with 2:51 left. Johnson gave Utah the lead with a leaning runner, and then, after some tough defense forced a shot-clock violation by Charlotte, Hayward drilled an 18-footer and then kicked to Johnson for the dagger—a corner three that hit nothing but net to push Utah's lead to seven with 59 seconds remaining.
The Hornets shot 8-for-12 (66.7 percent) from 3-point range in the third quarter alone. Williams went 2-for-2, while Walker shot 3-for-5, including an off-balance heave between two Jazz defenders that hit nothing but net as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.
Utah turned up the D late in the game as Charlotte made only 3 of their final 19 shot attempts (15.8 percent).
Utah's trio of Hayward (13-for-20), Hill (8-for-11) and Johnson (7-for-12) combined for 76 points on 65.1 percent shooting. They also went 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from 3-point range. More than the gaudy statistics, though, was their impeccable timing—they scored 30 of Utah's 32 fourth-quarter points on 10-for-19 shooting, including five 3-pointers (three by Hill, two by Johnson).
Coach's Quote of the Night
"You can look at it one way and say we gave up 38 points in the third quarter, or you san say we gave up 16 in the fourth. The fact that there's such a disperity, to me, points to just focus and mental concentration. And certainly some of that is them hitting some really tough shots. But I don't think a swing that great can be attributable to just the external circumstances of the game. Some of that comes from us."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Exum went on a personal 7-0 first-half run to kickstart Utah's offense. ... Gobert blocked at least one shot for the 20th straight game, the longest active streak in the NBA. ... Utah outrebounded Charlotte 51-38. ... Both teams shot 13-for-33 (39.4 percent) from 3-point range. ... Derrick Favors returned to the court after missing the past two games. He came off the bench and finished with two points and four rebounds in 10 minutes. ... Rodney Hood (knee) was out for the Jazz. ... The Jazz score 17 second-chance points. Charlotte scored three. ... The Jazz now sit in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
The Jazz will begin a three-game road trip when they take on the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. MT, and the game will be televised on ROOT SPORTS.