SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – A day after the Jazz roster got shaken up at the trade deadline, the team continues to roll.
Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points and previewed his Slam Dunk Contest appearance with two tomahawk jams, and the Jazz extended their league-best winning streak to eight with a 106-94 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.
The streak is Utah’s longest since winning nine in a row in 2010.
”There’s always some games in the NBA season where you lay an egg and it has more to do with how you respond,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”Our guys have gained some confidence in general. The determination came before the confidence. They have pride, collective pride. That game didn’t feel good.”
Joe Ingles scored a career-high 23 points with six assists and five rebounds for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert added 20 points and 11 rebounds. Jonas Jerebko led the bench scoring with 10 points.
”(The streak) means a lot,” Jazz forward Derrick Favors said. ”We’re definitely in the playoff hunt. Guys are playing better, the team as a whole is playing better. We’re focused. Dialed in every night. Defensively, we’ve been great. Offensively, things are clicking for us. We’ve just got to keep it up.”
This was Utah’s first game since Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson both got traded at the deadline. Jae Crowder, acquired from Cleveland, was at the game, but did not dress. He is expected to make his Jazz debut Sunday at Portland.
Kemba Walker scored 19 points for the Hornets, who lost three straight to conclude their four-game Western Conference trip.
The Jazz withstood a 3-point barrage from the Hornets in the third quarter and closed the period with a 9-2 stretch jump-started by a cutting dunk from Jonas Jerebko. Utah extended the run to 16-5 early in the fourth for a 91-79 lead that was too much for Charlotte to rally from.
The Jazz held the Hornets to 17 points in the final quarter and outscored Charlotte 58-30 in the paint.
”I guess we just lost our juice a little bit and they kind of took advantage of that,” Walker said.
Utah is now 27-28 on the season and trails Denver by just two games for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Ricky Rubio scored six points and has seven assists before leaving the game in the third quarter with a hip injury and did not return.
The Jazz will try to extend their winning streak to nine games at Portland Sunday night.