Donovan Mitchell tries, but can’t lead Jazz to victory vs. Hornets

CHARLOTTE — Donovan Mitchell was terrible during the final five minutes of Utah’s 99-88 loss to Charlotte Friday night at the Spectrum Center. And he’ll be the first to tell you.

At least three times in his postgame interview, Mitchell mentioned how he turned the ball over “four straight times” in the key stretch of the ballgame.

Besides those four turnovers, three on passes and one on an offensive foul, Mitchell missed five shots, including his only free throw miss of the night after nine makes, as the Hornets went on a 14-3 run to end the game.

But can you blame the guy? After all, Mitchell had to be totally exhausted after carrying his team on his shoulders for the first 43 minutes in the final game of a nine-day, four-game road trip. Mitchell did everything but take tickets and sell popcorn, but he couldn’t come through in the final few minutes for the Jazz.

Mitchell and seldom-used Royce O’Neale were the only players of worth for the Jazz on this rainy night in Charlotte. Mitchell finished with 35 points on 10-of-20 shooting, including five 3-pointers, while O’Neale had his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes of play.

The rest of the Jazz players struggled as the team fell to 17-25 in losing their first game of the second half of the season against a team with a worse record than them coming in.

Rodney Hood, who earlier in the day was fined $35,000 by the NBA for the incident with the fan in Washington, scored 15 points, but he was only 4 of 13 from the field. Ricky Rubio shot 3 of 11, Joe Johnson 2 of 8 and Joe Ingles 1 of 6. That’s just 10 of 38 for four of your main outside players.

Inside, the Jazz got very little as Derrick Favors, who was coming back from missing a game with a sprained ankle, scored just five points in 28 minutes and his backup, Epke Udoh, scored one point in 19 minutes. Jonas Jerebko went scoreless and Thabo Sefalosha scored seven before leaving the game with a sprained right knee in the second half.

“I don’t think we did a good job of getting in the paint,” said coach Quin Snyder. “I don’t know how many points in the paint we had, but we just weren’t able to attack the rim like we needed to.”

Snyder praised his …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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