CHARLOTTE – Jae Crowder got a return with two seconds left on the shotblock. He went back and kicked a…
CHARLOTTE – Jae Crowder got a return with two seconds left on the shotblock. He went back and kicked a corner 3 pointers from an angle that should not have allowed the shot to enter.
But it did.
It was that kind of night for Crowder. And that kind of night for jazzen. In a game night where Utah welcomed Kyle Korver, Jazz showed that he was not the only one who could make a deep shot. Jazz struck 18 3 pointers heading for a 119-111 victory over Charlotte at Spectrum Center Friday.
Utah got his second straight victory and improved to 11-12. The jazz is now 9-6 on the way.
Actually, the 3-point shot began when Korver first checked into the game. Utah missed four of his first five shots from a long line, but it changed when Korver went into court for his second Jazz debut. He curled around a Rudy Gobert screen, grabbed the ball and drilled the trip
which seemed to open the floodgates for the jazz. Especially for Crowder.
Crowder went 6-in-1
0 from deeply on his way to a 24-point night off the bench. But he was one of many to gain success from the depths. Donovan Mitchell struck two long-distance shots, Ricky Rubio struck two more and sausages himself, nailed four from the depths.
And beyond Crowder’s crazy shot clock buzzer beater, most were open.
“What Utah did not do inside did they make up three,” Charlotte coach James Borrego
said. “Give them credit … They moved the ball and made a shot tonight.”
That was the effect that Jazzen hoped Korver would have on the offense, because his mere presence opened space for all others. And it led to more than just open shots from the perimeter.
When Utah began to connect in its deep appearance, the lanes began to open. Mitchell fully utilized it. The second round made 30 points at 12 to 22 shots and feasted on open midrange shots and layups.
The crime was so good that even Gobert had a run. Gobert crossed Frank Kaminsky, took a few shots and hit it down. It was not his only dunk it at night either. Gobert was a pain in the color, the rim rolled to 20 points and 17 rebounds.
Utah had one of the best start of the season. With a sharp halt and an active defense, Jazzen took the 16-point lead at the end of the first quarter. It was a dominant display driven by Gobert’s strong no-one defense and jazz ball movement.
But Charlotte did a run and after a 3-point play of Jeremy Lamb halfway through the third quarter, the Hornets had pulled things even at 64.
They were not even too tall.
Jazz responded with a 15-2 race and Hornets could never really get into the game.
Tony Parker had a throwback performance of 20 points and nine assisted when trying to get Charlotte back in the fourth. Jazz fought to contain the former Spurs legend on the circumference and helped Hornets to 70 points in the color.
“I would like to see more ball,” said jazz boss Quin Snyder.
But every time the Hornets clipped it close, Utah had a response, at least on the offensive end. Whether it was another 3 pointer, a Gobert field roll or a Mitchell zipper, the jazzen always found a way to expand the lead.
But for the most part, the jazzen shook down the stretch. Something that does not work well for the coach or the players. The Hornets scored 58 points in the second half.
“We played good defense sometimes,” said Gobert. “But if we want to be the team we want to be, we must be better.”
Sagittarius was better, at least.
Up Next: Utah will finish its three-game traffic with a game in Miami on Sunday.