The Charlotte Hornets need to find proper support to Kemba Walker; otherwise, this team isn’t going to do anything worth mentioning. Last night, the Hornets lost in Utah, despite 47 points scored by their best player.
The Jazzers won 111-102 and kept their chances to reach the home court advantage in the first round, while on the other hand, decreased Charlotte’s for that eighth spot in the East.
A well-balanced offense of the home team was more effective than the guests who relied upon Walker and some times, Jeremy Lamb. What cost Hornets the win was, in fact, the slow start, which was a consequence of Kemba’s poor shooting performance. The whole Hornets had less than 30% from the field in the opening two quarters, 29.8%.
For that time, the Jazzers have built a double-digit lead and entered the halftime with a nice advantage, 52-39.
For one moment during the third quarter, the guests came down to a nine-point distance, but the four-minute scoring drought allowed Utah to go up 74-54 and to clinch the game.
After that, there was no chance for any upset because the Jazzers controlled the flow of the match, and denied any effort of the guests for coming back.
Donovan Mitchell had 25 points, with 5 assists, hitting five threes. Ricky Rubio scored 20 with 13 assists, while Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 18 rebounds, tying Karl Malone’s double-double record in one season with 62 of them. Joe Ingles had 15 points, all five threes.
For the guests, as said before, Kemba ran the show dropping 47 points, shooting 13 of 15 from the line and adding 5 dimes. Jeremy Lamb jumped in off the bench to help with 23 buckets.
This is Utah’s 10th win in the latest 11 matches, and they reached the peak of its form in the best possible. With two games behind Houston and Portland at the third and fourth spot in the West, they still have a chance to seal a home court advantage for the playoffs.
Hornets are three games behind the Heat, who are holding the last playoff spot in the East. They still have some chances of reaching it, but if they lose the next game against the Pelicans which will take place in New Orleans, a postseason will become only a theory.
The Jazzers are going to Arizona to dace Phoenix on Wednesday.