CHARLOTTE (ABC4 Sports) – The longest road trip of the season for the Utah Jazz is proving to be the toughest of the year as well.
Miles Bridges had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Terry Rozier added 25 points and the Charlotte Hornets bounced back from an ugly loss to beat the Utah Jazz 107-101 on Friday night in the Jazz third straight loss on this six-game road trip, which opened with a victory in New York.
LaMelo Ball added 21 points for the Hornets, who had their five-game win streak snapped Wednesday with a disappointing 15-point defeat to the New York Knicks.
Charlotte (38-36) wrapped up a five-game homestand with a 4-1 record and pulled within a half-game of the Brooklyn Nets for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Donovan Mitchell had 26 points to lead Utah, but missed two key shots in the final minute. Jordan Clarkson had 19 points and Rudy Gobert added 11 points and 19 rebounds for the Jazz (45-27), who have lost three straight.
The Jazz (45-29) remain tied with the Dallas Mavericks for fourth place in the Western Conference in the race to have home court advantage in a first round playoff series. The Mavs host the Jazz Sunday night.
Utah led 78-77 entering the fourth quarter after Clarkson beat the buzzer by scoring off an offensive rebound.
The teams went back and forth from there with the lead changing hands a total of 17 times before Rozier knocked down a leaning 3-pointer from the right wing to put Charlotte on top for good at 102-99 with 1:08 to go.
After Mitchell answered with a jumper in the lane to cut the lead to one, Bridges drove the lane and was fouled by Gobert and made both free throws to push the lead back to three. That’s when Mitchell got free in the lane, but missed a layup in the paint with 24 seconds left after putting too much on the ball thinking the shot was going to be contested.
Mitchell could only laugh at himself after the miss as he walked back, down the court.
“You saw my reaction, I just started laughing,” Mitchell said. “I’m not like ‘whatever’ about it, I want to win the (darn) game. … I’m not laughing because it’s a joke, I’m laughing because of the level of frustration.”
Rozier added two free throws with 17.6 seconds left to make it a two-possession game. Mitchell’s 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession hit the top of the backboard, allowing the Hornets to escape with their fifth win in six games.
Charlotte outscored the Jazz 8-2 in the final 1:08 of the game.
“When we play defense, we are in every game and competing in every game,” Bridges said. “So overall we have been doing a good job of just staying focused.”
Hassan Whiteside did not play after being listed as questionable earlier in the day with a sprained right foot. Juancho Hernangomez, who started in place of Eric Paschall, scored 14 points.
The Jazz made 17 of 47 three-pointers and shot 45.2 percent from the field.