It’s been a brutal stretch for the Charlotte Hornets and it continued last night with a loss to the Utah Jazz. In the past 7 games, all which they have lost, the Hornets have an offensive rating of 104.2 (23rd) and defensive rating of 114.2 (28th). While the Hornets played much better against the Jazz than in previous games, some of the same issues reared its head.
The Hornets started off hot and opened to a 16-6 lead. Most of this was in part to Frank Kaminsky, who made his seventh start of the season. The Hornets used him in pick and pops and he accounted for 10 of the first 12 points the Hornets scored. Utah was sloppy with the ball and came away with empty possessions early in the first. The Jazz picked up their play late in the first and early in the second with upped defense and ball movement. This span, which the Jazz went on a 15-0 run, came with our bench unit of Roberts, Belinelli, Lamb, Plumlee, and starter Kidd-Gilchrist on the court. The issues of the bench unit have been widely discussed and it was on full display in this five-minute spell.
The Hornets put together one of their patented third quarters, which we were more accustomed to seeing in the first half of the season, and outscored the Jazz 38-21. In this quarter, the Hornets shot lights-out from deep, making 8 of 12. Kemba, who was off for most of the night, tallied 12 of his 18 points in this quarter. Charlotte took a lead into the fourth and it looked like the six game losing streak could end in Utah. Charlotte went on a run to begin the quarter and even had 10 point lead with a little over eight minutes to play. The offensive stalled and in the last eight minutes, the away team only shot 16% from the field, while the Jazz went on a 23-6 run to end the game. The Hornets fell for the seventh straight time and this one ended in disappointing fashion.