Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points and Joe Ingles added a career-high 23 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 106-94 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Rudy Gobert chipped in 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz. Utah won an NBA-leading eighth straight game.
Kemba Walker scored 19 points and Nicolas Batum added 13 points to lead the Hornets. Charlotte lost its third straight road game.
The Jazz used crisp passing to blister Charlotte’s interior defense for four quarters. Utah totaled 29 assists on 41 baskets and finished with 58 points in the paint.
Ingles gave Utah’s offense an early spark in the first quarter. He scored four baskets in the first seven minutes to help the Jazz take a 16-8 lead. During that stretch, Utah slashed to the rim at will and scored 14 points in the paint.
When Ingles headed to the bench, Mitchell kept everything moving forward. Charlotte tied it up at 22-22 behind a 7-0 run bookended by baskets from Frank Kaminsky. Mitchell buried a 3-pointer and threaded a pinpoint pass to Royce O‘Neale to set up another and prevent the Hornets from going in front. It gave the Jazz a 28-24 lead at quarter’s end.
Charlotte used a 9-0 run extending into the second quarter, highlighted by Kaminsky’s go-ahead 3-pointer, to go in front 31-28. The Jazz eventually regained the lead and created a cushion just before halftime behind a 10-0 run. Mitchell finished off the run with a step-back 3-pointer that put Utah up 55-44.
The Hornets didn’t go away without a fight. Batum, Marvin Williams and Walker each hit 3-pointers over four straight possessions to help Charlotte rally ahead of Utah for a 71-70 lead.
O‘Neale steadied the Jazz with back-to-back baskets that put them back in front. Utah then used a 14-2 run extending into the fourth quarter to retake a double-digit lead. Mitchell’s three-point play punctuated the run and put the Jazz up 91-79 with 8:07 remaining.
--Field Level Media