Jazz survive fevered comeback bid by Hornets
Rudy Gobert scored 23 points and grabbed 21 rebounds, Bojan Bogdanovic also scored 23 points and Donovan Mitchell dropped in 21 to help the Utah Jazz fend off a furious rally by the Charlotte Hornets in a tense 112-102 victory Monday night in Salt Lake City.
The Jazz led by 17 points with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining — and by as many as 22 points in the second quarter — before the Hornets went on a tear and eventually took the lead with 3:30 left. Utah, however, closed out strong to avoid a third home loss in four nights.
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Terry Rozier sparked the Hornets’ comeback, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the final 8:10 of the team’s second game against a Western Conference contender in as many nights. Charlotte lost 137-106 in Phoenix on Sunday night.
The Hornets’ LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges each scored 21 points, with Bridges pulling down 11 rebounds and Ball dishing out 11 assists.
Utah seemed to be cruising to its ninth win in 11 games in the fourth quarter after taking an 89-72 lead on a Gobert dunk with 8:28 to go.
That’s when Rozier took over, hitting three consecutive treys as the Hornets made it an eight-point game at 89-81 with 7:18 left.
Gobert stopped Charlotte’s momentum momentarily with a couple of free throws, but Rozier spearheaded an 11-0 run with a mid-range shot and another trey as the Hornets stormed ahead 92-91.
The Jazz revived their offense, however.
Mike Conley made an old-fashioned three-point play, Mitchell hit 1 of 2 free throws and Bogdanovic drained a 3-pointer as Utah pulled ahead 98-92 with 2:22 remaining.
Ball made it a three-point game with a 3-pointer, but the Jazz responded with a game-clinching 8-0 run.
Conley finished with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists. Utah’s Royce O’Neale, who hit a 3-pointer in the waning moments for his only points of the game, grabbed 13 rebounds to go with three assists. Jordan Clarkson scored 11 off the bench for the Jazz, who shot only 35.4 percent overall.
The Hornets, who shot 38.6 percent, missed their first eight shots and didn’t hit a field goal until Bridges’ driving layup 4:35 into the game that left Charlotte down 15-4.
The Jazz went up 29-8, with Charlotte not reaching double figures as a team until the 2:26 mark of the first.
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