Utah Jazz: Enes Kanter leads the youth movement in huge win over Bobcats
SALT LAKE CITY — Judging Friday's blowout, it's hard to determine whether the home team was so good despite being short-handed or if the visiting team was just so horrible despite being fully staffed.
Whatever the case, the 17,691 fans at EnergySolutions Arena didn't care nor did they stop enjoying every last second of the youth movement mania.
Final score: Future Jazz 98, Current Bobcats 68.
That 30-point blowout happened, by the way, even with starting big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap watching from the training room with sprained left ankles.
Score one losing-streak-snapping win for the bench guys.
"It's just great for all the guys," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said after watching the understudies step into a starring role and shine for a night. "It's great for us."
On this night, the Jazz didn't need their usual key cogs as they won for the first time in four games and improved to 32-27.
Forty-eight hours after Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declared Wednesday to be Junior Jazz Day around the state, the NBA team's most junior players turned this evening into Career Night.
Center Enes Kanter, starting for Big Al, had a monstrous outing of 23 points and 22 rebounds, becoming the first Jazz player in more than three years to put together a 20-20 game in regulation.
"I wasn't expecting a 20-20 game," Kanter said.
Everybody in Jazzland will happily take it, though.
Joining in the act, backup forward DeMarre Carroll had a career-high 19 points despite playing with an injured left knee (bone bruise and patellar tendinitis) and seldom-used Jeremy Evans had his best-ever night with career-highs of 14 points and nine rebounds.
Young guns Gordon Hayward (14 points) and Alec Burks (10 points) also contributed as the Jazz bench totaled 57 points.
"It's just a tremendous feeling," Corbin said, "to see the guys get a chance to get more time on the floor and then have success in a game like tonight."
That historic 3-pointer by Foye set a franchise-record for most treys in a season (130) and gave the Jazz a 35-16 lead.
By that point, Kanter had already racked up his first double-double of his sophomore season with an early 10 points and 10 boards.
Kanter proceeded to play a career-high 44 minutes and 23 seconds. He hit 10 of 12 shots. The active 6-11 center also had 17 defensive rebounds (more than Charlotte) and five offensive boards (only one Bobcat had more overall rebounds for comparison's sake).
Corbin joked that he is going to get on Kanter for his five turnovers.
"He had a great game," the Jazz coach said. "He was big inside."
The Jazz spotted the Bobcats (13-45), losers of five straight, an early 2-0 lead.
But it was all Kanter and junior-level Jazz guys after that.
The Turkish center hit an 18-foot jumper to get things going and then made a couple of inside buckets to give Utah all the cushion it would need with an early 7-4 lead.
By the end of the first quarter, Kanter had eight points, which remarkably was only one less than Charlotte's total of nine.
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