Utah Jazz: Red-hot Jazz scorch nets and Bobcats, 112-102
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Utah Jazz were so hot Wednesday night, Jamaal Tinsley waved a white towel at his torrid teammates during a particularly smoking stretch in the fourth quarter.
If not for Tinsley's helpful fanning assistance after a tough drive by Alec Burks and back-to-back 3-pointers from DeMarre Carroll and Randy Foye, it is indeed possible the Jazz would've spontaneously combusted.
How hot were the Jazz, you wonder?
While blowing out the Charlotte Bobcats 112-102 at Time Warner Cable Arena, the Jazz shot 53.7 percent, hit 10-of-22 3-pointers, scored 36 in the second quarter and never trailed.
The Bobcats might've known they were in for a long night in the first quarter when Tinsley grabbed a loose ball and hucked up a funky-looking, quick-reacting heave from 3-point land that hit the bottom of the net after barely leaving his hands before the shot-clock expired.
Tinsley was one of eight Jazz players to score at least nine points in this road-trip opener.
Al Jefferson led the scoring barrage with 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting, while interior tag-team partner Paul Millsap added 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
"We felt like we were in a good offensive rhythm, which was created by defense," Millsap said. "We got out and guarded guys out there, especially the first half. The second half we didn't do too well, but we'll take that win any way we can get it."
That defense-created-offense theme was an oft-repeated refrain in the Jazz locker room.
Another common phrase after Utah won for the fourth time in five games while kicking off this three-game trek?
"This is a business trip for us," Millsap said. "We want to try to get all three of these games. No excuses. We want to go out and try to win them all."
That shouldn't be a problem if they shoot this precisely, execute this well and spread out 30 assists in Atlanta (Friday) and Detroit (Saturday).
Seven Jazz players had multiple assists, topped by Tinsley's game-high eight dishes.
"That was great. I thought that was key to the game," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said of the ball distribution. "We had 19 (assists) at halftime. We wanted to make sure we continued that throughout the game. ... It was a positive sign that we continued to share the ball."
There weren't many negative signs from this particular game as the Jazz stepped above the .500 level by improving to 19-18.
Michael Jordan's Bobcats, meanwhile, fell to 9-25 after losing for the 20th time in 22 games. Reserve Ben Gordon led Charlotte with 20, spearheading a Bobcat bench that racked up 67 points.
But the Jazz reserves held their own, especially Gordon Hayward. Interestingly, the swingman followed Monday's big 27-point night by going 4 for 5 from 3-point range but 0 for 5 from 2-point territory en route to 14 points.
"We're not letting one or two guys do everything. Everybody's contributing. The bench is contributing," said Millsap, who also contributed five rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. "G's done a great job for us. He's been the glue for us lately, so hopefully he can continue to do that."
The Jazz are also hoping to keep up the smooth flow of their offense, which ran just as it was designed to do in this one.
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