- Associated Press - Saturday, December 21, 2019

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - With his team trailing by eight points at halftime, Jazz coach Quin Snyder showed his players some clips from the first half when they were missing players in the corners for wide open 3s.

Utah fixed those mistakes in the second half and rallied for another victory.

Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 26 points, Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 19 rebounds and the Jazz shot 10 of 19 from 3-point range in the second half to beat the Charlotte Hornets 114-107 on Saturday for their fifth straight victory.

Donovan Mitchell added 20 points for the Jazz (18-11), and Joe Ingles had 14 points, including two pivotal 3s in the fourth quarter.

“It was about keeping it simple and making the simple read,” Mitchell said. “And we ended up doing that in the second half.”

Snyder wasn’t around to see his strategy fully come to fruition after being ejected midway through the fourth quarter after arguing for a call.

“We have an unselfish team we just have to be aware of what the defense is doing and where the rotations are and how to find people,” Snyder said. “I think when we have that awareness we are a team that’s willing to move the ball, and that’s what happened, the ball the started moving and our guys got open looks.”

Bogdanovic finished 7 of 12 from the field and made all eight free throws.

“I have never seen a guy that everyone on the bench, every time he gets it, yelled at him to shoot, and he usually does at the right times particularly,” Snyder said. “When the game gets close, he is at his best.”

Terry Rozier, who was coming off a career-high 35 points in a 100-98 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday night, had 29 points for the Hornets (13-19). Devonte Graham added 22 points.

“Obviously it’s tough to be a team that lives and dies by the 3 when they’re hitting,” Rozier said of the Jazz. “So you try to stay locked in for 40 minutes, but sometimes you can’t do anything about it. All the credit goes to them for knocking down shots.”

Added Hornets coach James Borrego: “They’ve got multiple ball handlers with size that can pass over our defense. Give them credit, they kicked it, they made shots.”

The Hornets played one of their better first halves of basketball, shooting 58% from the field to build a 64-56 lead behind 25 total points from Graham and Rozier.

But the Jazz battled back to take the lead for good with 9:15 remaining when Ingles knocked down a 3 after a turnover by the Hornets. Bogdanovic knocked down a 3 to help push the lead to eight points, and Gobert had a dunk with 16 seconds left to help seal the win.


Jazz: Gobert and the Hornets Nic Batum were teammates on the French national team, most recently competing in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. … Guard Mike Conley sat out again with a hamstring injury. … Bogdanovic was so mad at himself after being called for travelling in the third quarter he purposely bounced the ball off his own head in the direction of the official. … Utah was 19 of 20 from the foul line.

Hornets: Batum got a rare start for the Hornets and Cody Martin saw playing time off the bench as Borrego looked to mix things up, as he’s been known to do when he feels he needs a spark.


Snyder got ejected for arguing with an official on a play in which two of his players collided while going for a loose ball. Snyder got in the face of Ray Acosta and was immediately tossed. But the Jazz didn’t let it bother them and outscored the Hornets 15-11 in the final 6:44 with Snyder in the locker room.

“I thought there was a foul, but those guys have a tough job,” Snyder said. “But our staff kept them together and I thought our guys responded as well.”


Mitchell said his high school teammate Graham should be the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

Graham is averaging 19.1 points and 7.5 assists this season for Charlotte after moving into a starting role earlier in the season.

“That’s a Devonte that I have known for my whole life,” Mitchell said. “He’s a kid that steps up and wants the clutch moment and wants everything. And he’s going to go get out there and get it. I think he really deserves the Most Improved Player. To do what he’s doing, it’s really unmatched.”


Jazz: Wrap up a three-game trip Sunday night at Miami.

Hornets: Travel to face Kemba Walker, Charlotte’s all-time leader scorer, and the Celtics on Sunday night.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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