The Utah Jazz got stung by the hapless Charlotte Hornets

A hot shooting Hornets team was too much for the Utah Jazz tonight.

Feb 22, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA;  Utah Jazz forward Brice Sensabaugh (8) shoots the ball
Feb 22, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz forward Brice Sensabaugh (8) shoots the ball / Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The first game after the All-Star break for the Utah Jazz brought a winnable opponent to the Delta Center - the 13-41 Charlotte Hornets.

Despite a 3-game win streak leading into the break, the Hornets are one of the worst teams in the NBA and have struggled to put any consistent winning streaks together this season.

Someone forgot to tell the Jazz about this, and early on it looked like the Hornets might run away with the game, as they hit 3-pointers with reckless abandon and shot over 60% from deep in the first half, taking a 56-52 halftime lead as the Jazz struggled to step up and defend the perimeter.

In the 3rd quarter, the Jazz finally woke up for a while and outscored the Hornets 38-29 to take a 5-point lead (90-85) heading into the 4th, with Keyonte George and Taylor Hendricks putting the Jazz future on display, scoring 20 points combined.

And then it all collapsed, as the Jazz went over 5 1/2 minutes of the 4th quarter without scoring a point, allowing the Hornets back in the game. It was punctuated by 3 Jordan Clarkson turnovers in that span, which effectively killed the Jazz's comeback hopes.

A few thoughts on tonight's game:

Keyonte George had 16 points and 5 assists and shot 50% from the field, but his 5 turnovers were brutal. He needs the reps and the minutes to clean up those miscues.

Jordan Clarkson didn't do much to deserve 34 minutes tonight, shooting 5-13 from the field and 0-4 from deep. He had 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 turnovers. And he was a team-worst -19 tonight.

Walker Kessler looked bad tonight, not sure if he's hurt or if his confidence is gone. He's not the same player from last year, and we need that guy back.

Collin Sexton struggled much of the night against the longer Hornets defenders, and couldn't get much action in the paint. On nights like this, he needs to make them respect his outside shot first, then attack the paint once they start coming out to guard him.

Not much went right for the Jazz tonight, sadly. They needed a win to get things going on their post-All-Star Game stretch, which is 4th toughest in the NBA. Now they need the next one, a game at home on Sunday Night against the lowly San Antonio Spurs and their wunderkind rookie, Victor Wembanyama. Let's hope the Jazz can right things in the next 72 hours.

What is the best case scenario for the Jazz this year?. What is the best case scenario for the Jazz this year?. dark. Next