Sunday, December 21, 2014
Hornets Extra: Hornets 104, Jazz 86
Playing a set of back-to-back games can take a toll on a NBA team during an 82-game schedule, but for the Charlotte Hornets, who entered last night's game after defeating the 76ers in Philadelphia on Friday, they wanted to carry the momentum from Friday's game into their game against the Utah Jazz at Time Warner Cable Arena, and boy did they ever keep their word true, as Charlotte cruised past Utah 104-86 for its second straight win, and improving to 8-19 on the season, thus ending a 10-game regular season losing skid vs. Utah as well.
For the Hornets, it was nothing more but a well-executed performance in their win, as they did not let up and didn't give up on each other, it was all about playing smart basketball, and it was all done possible by of course, Kemba Walker, who led the way with 20 points on just 8-of-17 shooting from the field, while Al Jefferson had himself a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds before leaving the game with a mild groin strain late in the game, but he did feel great to contribute to Charlotte's win last night.
"It feels good. If they needed me, I could've come back in there." Jefferson quoted. Hornets head coach Steve Clifford liked what he saw out of Kemba in last night's game as well as their win on Friday in Philadelphia, too. "I'm not saying he's at an entirely different level, but his defense, organizational skills as a point guard and his pick and roll game this year is all better." Clifford said of Walker.
Charlotte also saw 2 other players reach double-figures, with Gerald Henderson adding in 17 points, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist got himself a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. As a team, the Hornets finished up the night shooting 48.3% from the field, while out-shooting them from three-point range with 40.9% and winning the rebound battle by a +10 margin(49-39).
Utah saw 6 players reach double-figures in their portion of the final box score, with Gordon Hayward, who was one of the targets Charlotte had on their radar before choosing to stay with Utah, leading the way with 14 points on the night, while Derrick Favors and Joe Ingles each adding 13 points each. Rudy Gobert and Alec Burks each had 11 on the night, with Trey Burke rounding out the list with 10 points.
Tomorrow night at "The Hive", the Hornets will be out for their third win in a row, as they welcome in Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets for a 7:00 p.m. start, before hitting the road on Tuesday night to square off against the Milwaukee Bucks at 8:00 p.m. inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center.