Jazz bury Hornets 94-66 with barrage of 3-pointers
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Utah Jazz have won 11 of 13 games since the All-Star break by relying on a staunch defense that left opponents desperate for points.
The Jazz added record-setting offense Monday night in a 94-66 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
Utah put together its most prolific first half of the season thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers. The Jazz hit 12 of 15 3-pointers in the first 24 minutes to set a franchise record for the most in a half. They led by 14 after the first quarter and 61-30 at halftime.
The current six-game winning streak is their longest since March 2012.
''That was pretty special,'' Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. ''It's a lot more fun when the whole team's hitting and guys are just stepping up making big-time shots.
''When we were up like 80-37 that's where you kind of look up like, `Man, I didn't know we were up this much.' It started to get a little crazy, especially when we kept hitting 3 after 3 early in the first half. It was fun, man.''
Rookie Rodney Hood set a career high for the second time in three games with 24 points. Hayward scored 18 points while Rudy Gobert had nine points and 22 rebounds - his third consecutive game with 19-plus boards.
''I felt like I got in a little groove and just knocked down shots when they came to me,'' Hood said. ''It's just been amazing just being healthy. ... Just being more aggressive, especially when Gordon's not on the court.''
Lance Stephenson led the Hornets (29-36) with 17 points off the bench. Al Jefferson finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Six Jazz players made 3-pointers in the first 24 minutes and only two missed. Their last eight baskets in the first quarter were all from behind the arc and Trey Burke's basket from straightaway to start the second quarter made it nine in a row.
''I don't know if you can be deflated when you have no energy or effort to start the game,'' Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. ''They did a good job and we weren't there. It was easy for them. They played great but, again, our team needs to have a very good effort level to play well and obviously we didn't have that.''
The Jazz shot 51.2 percent from the field in the first half and 80 percent from long range. They finished with 15 3-pointers to tie the franchise record.
The 66 points for the Hornets were a season low.
''When the ball's passed accurately and on time ... there are better shots,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''We got it going tonight. We got it going early. Sometimes that can be infectious.
''That's a very good defensive team and they caught us on a hot night and we caught them on a tough night. ''
Hornets: Their 30 points were two shy of a season low in the first half. ... Starters Mo Williams, Jefferson and Marvin Williams all played multiple seasons for the Jazz. ... The Hornets shot 29.5 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from behind the arc. ... Charlotte never led.
Jazz: Utah scored 30 points in the first quarter while hitting 8 of 9 3-pointers. Those were the most Jazz points scored in the period since Dec. 17. ... The eight 3-pointers in the first were a franchise record for any quarter. Eight first-quarter 3-pointers are a single-quarter franchise record. ... The Jazz had a season high for first-half points with 61. It was one shy of their high for any half, the 62 in the second half against Indiana on Jan. 5.
''I feel like anybody who shot a 3 tonight made one,'' Marvin Williams said. ''We obviously didn't execute defensively the way we wanted to and they did a great job taking advantage of it.
''We tried to hang in there. You try to weather the storm, but they just continued to shoot at will.''
Hornets: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
Jazz: Host Washington on Wednesday.