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Kyle Korver impresses in Utah Jazz (re)debut, helps Utah beat Hornets

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Kyle Korver brought threes to three point starved Jazz, hitting 4 of 6 from deep.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Korver (5-7, 4-6 3 pa, 14 pts, 2 reb) returned, the Utah Jazz hit shots, and they never trailed in their victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

Jae Crowder (8-13, 24 pts, 2 rebounds, 7 ast) and Donovan Mitchell (12-22, 30 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast) led the charge early, putting up 18 points between them in the first quarter. They hit shots outside and fed Rudy Gobert (20 pts, 17 reb) inside, spacing out the Hornets nicely.

Charlotte wasn’t done, though. A solid team effort in the 2nd quarter nearly reversed what the Jazz had done in the first, and by the time the dust settled Utah was clinging to a 4-point lead. In the third, both teams came out swinging, but the Jazz grabbed the momentum heading into the fourth. Turns out that Tony Parker still has Utah’s number, as he finished with 20 points and 9 assists. Kemba Walker, starting point guard for the Hornets, had a good game as well, finishing with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Considering that Kemba entered tonight’s contest averaging 27 ppg, the Utah Jazz did considerably well defending him.

Quin Snyder experimented with lineups a bit tonight, playing Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, (2-7, 6 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast) Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, and Derrick Favors (2-3, 6 pts, 6 reb) four minutes into the fourth. It was a welcome change, and it allowed the Jazz to pad the lead. Granted, that’s easy to say when the shots are falling, but fall they did. With so many shooters on the floor, the Hornets had to respect the deep threat, which created lanes for pretty much everyone to drive to the hoop.

The recently much-maligned (by Doug Gottlieb) Donovan Mitchell was the hero of the night, arguably playing his best game of the season so far.

When his teammates hit shots, which they did tonight, he can breathe and doesn’t feel like he has to make a bunch of contested attempts.

As a team, the Jazz shot 45% from three, hitting 18-40, and 54% from the floor overall. They out-rebounded Charlotte, and had 32 assists. They played a calm, collected game, answered every run, and got a solid victory.

The Jazz continue their road trip on Sunday against the Miami Heat. Save your jokes about how people used to think Hassan Whiteside was better than Rudy Gobert for then.


One last note: Alec Burks made his debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight in a blowout loss to the Boston Celtics.