The Utah Jazz took care of business in Game 2 of their season high six game home stand by beating the Charlotte Hornets 102-73. It was a close game in the first quarter with both teams failing to really make the most of the other teams' disadvantages, but in the second the Jazz took control and never looked back. Utah was playing with both and in limited minutes because for precautionary reasons, but they both played. Which is more than what we can say about the Hornets, who were without , , , and Jeremy Lamb. They did finally get back, but he wasn't in any shape to handle . So this is what happens when Utah is actually healthy, and the other team is not: a blow out.
Utah won the second quarter 25-13, and followed that up with winning the third quarter 27-20 -- and a huge reason for these results was the Utah turning up the defensive pressure. The Jazz forced the Hornets into 18 turn overs, and 36.8 FG% for the night. Charlotte missed over 40 shots tonight, including 19 from deep. I guess things have a way of evening out because in the double overtime game they won last week they couldn't miss. A key example we can use iswho didn't score 52 in this game, he barely scored 15. Hey, it's not all bad Hornets fans, Kemba Walker still averaged 33.5 ppg against the Jazz this season!
For the Jazz, their starting rookies Raul Neto andcombined to shoot 0/11 tonight, and 0/6 from deep. They failed to score, Utah almost didn't need anyone else after how great Gordon Hayward and performed. The wings shot 17/30, were perfect from the line, and made seven threes along the way to combining for 46 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, and most importantly, the win.
did his thing pulling down 12 rebounds and blocking 3 shots, but he only scored 6 points, going 50% from the line hurt him today. Off the bench Derrick Favors dropped 12, 11, and 10. Only two players had "bad" games, everyone else was +0 or better. Three players finished the game over +20 in +/-.
It was a special moment for former Utah Jazz draft pick, and 10-Day contract holder, Erick Green. In garbage time he got in the game and went 2/2 from the field, and finished with 4 points and 1 assist. This is cool because for as long as we have him we're now going to expect him to never miss a shot and average an assist every four minutes of play. Such is the expectation level he has now set.
All jokes aside, this was a much needed win for the Utah Jazz -- you don't get an unlimited number of home games against East lotto teams. You have to win them when they are on the schedule. It was awesome to see an almost 100% healthy Jazz team play. Of course, I didn't watch this game because of a family obligation . . . but I can't wait to see it later on tonight.
Utah has another night off, then they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.