by: Dana Greene
Posted: / Updated:
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After blowing fourth quarter leads in its last two games, the Utah Jazz weren’t about to lose a third.
The Charlotte Hornets rallied back from a 22-point deficit, but the Jazz finished strong on a 21-10 run to end a 2-game slide, 112-102.
Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 21 rebounds, while Bojan Bogandovic added 23 points for the Jazz, who blew leads against San Antonio and Washington over the weekend. Donovan Mitchell chipped in with 21 points.
Utah shot only 35.4% from the field but limited Charlotte to 38.6% shooting.
“We got to where we wanted,” Mitchell said. “They played a zone and we were able to break it and get into the paint. Sometimes shots don’t go in and you got to step up on the defensive end. It’s tough when you’re missing shots and they’re hitting tough shots.”
Gobert went 15 of 16 from the free throw line, setting a new career-high for made free throws. He matched his season high of nine by halftime.
“I’ve never been scared to get to the line,” Gobert said. “Some guys have that mindset. I’ve never had that mindset.”
LaMelo Ball led Charlotte with 21 points and 11 assists before fouling out in the final minute. Miles Bridges added 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Terry Rozier chipped in 20 points but the Hornets could not fully overcome another dismal start and dropped their third straight on the road.
Charlotte erased a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter and took a 92-91 lead on a dunk from Kelly Oubre Jr.
Mike Conley converted a three-point play to put Utah back in front. Bogdanovic buried back-to-back outside baskets and Mitchell also converted a three-point play to extend the lead to 104-95 with 1:22 left.
Charlotte opened the game by missing eight straight shots. The Hornets did not get their first basket until Bridges drove for a layup 4 ½ minutes into the first quarter.
A night after trailing 37-15 after the first quarter in Phoenix, the Hornets shot 5 of 24 from the field during the quarter, tying a season low for fewest field goals in a period.
Utah raced out to a 15-2 lead before Charlotte made a basket. Mitchell and Bogdanovic each scored a pair of baskets to help build the double-digit advantage. The Jazz extended their lead to 21 points later in the quarter, going up 29-8 on a 12-2 run bookended by two more baskets from Bogdanovic.
Charlotte trimmed the deficit to single digits again in the third quarter, closing within six points when Ish Smith buried a 3-pointer. Jordan Clarkson closed out the quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite a 15-4 run. Gobert punctuated the run with a pair of dunks that gave Utah an 89-72 lead with 8:28 remaining.
Former Jazz all-star Gordon Hayward did not play because of lower back discomfort.
The Jazz next host Minnesota on Thursday.