Jazz offense struggles in 99-88 loss at Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE (ABC4 Sports) – Despite another tremendous game from Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz are limping home after another unsuccessful road trip.

Mitchell scored 35 points, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Jazz from losing for the third time in four games on this road trip, as Kemba Walker scored 22 points in Charlotte’s 99-88 win Friday night. Six players scored in double figures for the Hornets, including 16 by Frank Kaminsky.

Marvin Williams scored 15 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 12 for Charlotte, which won despite an off night for Dwight Howard, who scored just two first-half points. Howard finished with eight points on 2-of-9 shooting. He also went 4 for 10 from the foul line and led the team with 13 rebounds.

Jeremy Lamb’s basket with 5:20 left gave Charlotte an 87-85 lead, part of a 14-3 run to end the game.

”I think our defense was really good in the fourth quarter,” said Howard, who last was held in single digits Dec. 31 (four points at Los Angeles Clippers). ”Marvin hit some big 3s, got a big cut to the basket and we got a good win. We needed it, especially after last game.”

Mitchell scored 35 points for Utah on 10 of 20 shooting. But as a team, the Jazz shot just 36.4 percent from the field and has now lost 14 of its last 19 games. 

Rodney Hood added 15 and fellow reserve Royce O’Neale 11 for the Jazz, who had been 10-3 when holding opponents to 100 points or fewer.

Mitchell, a rookie who scored a career-best 41 in a win last Friday against New Orleans, had 22 points at halftime on 7-of-12 shooting. Charlotte limited him to 3-of-8 shooting the rest of the way.

”We’ve tried to not put a ceiling on him one way or the other,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of Mitchell. ”Just focus on day-to-day what he’s doing. From that standpoint, he continues to get better. He struggled late in a playmaking position, so he’s figuring things out.”

Utah is now 4-18 on the road this season, the worst road record in the Western Conference.

The Jazz (17-25) next host Indiana Monday night.

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