A tale of two halves for the Utah Jazz

The Jazz couldn't miss in the first half. In the 2nd, they couldn't defend.
Jan 27, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller (24) drives
Jan 27, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller (24) drives / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz entered the night looking to start a new winning streak, after getting back to winning against the Washington Wizards the other night.

In the first half, they came out strong - blowing the doors off the Hornets by 23 points in a rocking first quarter where the Jazz were red-hot from the field.

The fun continued in the 2nd quarter, pushing the lead into 30-point territory as they led by 35 points at the half. It would be an ominous sign, unfortunately as the Jazz have shown a tendency to relax when they get a large lead this year.

The 3rd quarter proved to be the worst for the Jazz, as Charlotte came out with more energy and fought back valiantly to cut the lead down quite a bit, to 17 points and making the Jazz sweat a bit.

In the 4th, the Jazz struggled to keep the Hornets in front of them but were able to maintain a 17-point lead up through the 2:48 mark, but Charlotte didn't roll over and pull their starters. Instead, they closed the Jazz lead to 7 with 48 seconds left, before the Jazz made some free throws to push the final margin to 134-122.

The Jazz made history tonight - getting 47 points in the first quarter and 82 points in the first half, both franchise records. They shot 65% from 2, 59% from 3, and 83% from the line in the first half.

Lauri Markkanen had 26 points by HALFTIME, going 9-12 from the field (6-9 from deep). Collin Sexton had 19 points and 8 assists in the half as well.

PJ Washington of Charlotte burned the Jazz for 43 points, adding his name to the list of Jazz killers this season. Nick Richards had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and Miles Bridges had 21 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

The Jazz need to sort out their killer instinct, as they had Charlotte on the ropes down by 35 but failed to deliver a knockout punch. The Hornets were shooting in the 30% range early on but finished the game 51% from the field and 40% from 3.

The Jazz move to 15-1 in games this season where they have 6 players reach double-figure scoring.

They continue their road trip on Monday against the Brooklyn Nets (18-27) who have lost 7 of their last 10. Let's hope the Jazz can put a more complete game together on Monday and extend their winning streak to 3 games.

Next. The Jazz still need to work on their defense. The Jazz still need to work on their defense. dark