Utah once again dominated Charlotte with a 3-pointer barrage.
In a 132-110 win against the Hornets, Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz enjoyed another record-breaking success from long range on Monday night. With 28, including 19 off the bench, Utah set a franchise record for 3s, the most by any team’s backups in NBA history, according to STATS.
In the first meeting between the teams on Feb. 5, the Jazz set their previous mark of 3s with 26.
This time, most of Utah’s outside shots came during a 26-2 surge that erased Charlotte’s double-digit lead and put the Jazz (25-6) firmly in charge over the first three quarters after an inconsistent showing at both ends.
“The No. 1 team in the league wins a game like that,” Mitchell said. “That’s really where our head is at. That’s where we need to continue to be.”
Mitchell, who had 23 points and eight assists, credited an improvement in defensive stops beginning late in the third quarter with cracking open the offense floodgates.
“It looks good, but I think the biggest thing was our defensive energy,” Mitchell said. “Everything stepped up and made it tougher on them.”
The route from the perimeter was led by Joe Ingles and Georges Niang, making a career-high seven 3s each. With 21 points, both players finished. 20 were added by Jordan Clarkson.
To lead the Hornets, Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball each scored 21 points each. 20 were added by Malik Monk. Despite scoring 25 points off 21 Utah turnovers, Charlotte (14-16) lost.
“I feel like we just all got tired,” Ball said. “We didn’t put four quarters together, we put three together.”
Starting from the opening tip, the Jazz continuously assaulted from the perimeter. Prior to halftime, they made 29 3-pointers, a club record for attempts in a half.
At times, it paid off. In the first quarter, Utah made eight 3s as 72 percent of its shot attempts during the time came from behind the arc.
In the second quarter, however, the Jazz fell behind and trailed most of the third after being lackadaisical on defense and committing numerous turnovers on offense. With 21 fast-break points, Charlotte finished with 14 by halftime.
“They made plays and took advantage of the fact that we weren’t as precise as we needed to be on the defensive end,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “I thought in the second half we cleaned a lot of those things up, a lot of those little things.”
Early in the third, Charlotte established its first double-digit lead when P.J. The steal and slam by Washington capped a 12-1 run that put the Hornets ahead 81-70. During the spurt, Charlotte forced six turnovers and scored four baskets off those turnovers, highlighted by 3 points from Ball, Hayward and Washington on three straight possessions.
Before the third quarter ended, Utah reversed the deficit and went back ahead on back-to-back baskets from Clarkson and Niang. Their buckets sparked the decisive 26-2 run for the team.
With baskets on five straight possessions, the Jazz opened the fourth. Mike Conley and Niang’s consecutive 3-pointers punctuated the run and gave Utah a 111-92 lead.
“We could not score,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “And we could not set our defense. That’s the challenge with the young group is when you’re not scoring, can you come back and still have the same intensity?”