Well before Kyle Korver's name was repeatedly chanted by some adoring Utah Jazz fans, one spectator sported one of his newly made jerseys around EnergySolutions Arena on Monday night.
The factory might want to put a rush order on a few more boxes of No. 26 uniform tops. Korver sank six of Utah's record 14 3-pointers and scored 20 points off the bench to help spark the Jazz to a 110-88 rout of the Western Conference-leading New Orleans Hornets.
"They just shot the ball extremely well ... Kyle Korver was unbelievable, the way he shot the ball," said Hornets guard Chris Paul. "I think he might have made seven or eight (3-pointers)."
Close, but not quite. Korver's last bucket was a half-a-shoe-size away from being a three and tying his career-best of seven treys. He ended up hitting 6 of 8the most threes by him or any Utah player this yearin his highest-scoring game as a Jazzman.
He was especially hot in the second quarter. After missing his only two shots of the first quarter, the Jazz's Ashton Kutcher look-alike punked the Hornets' zone with four straight 3-pointers. That barrage helped Utah turn a one-point lead into double-digit range and put the rest of the Jazz in a long-range shooting mood. It also put the Jazz crowd into Korver love-fest mode. Not that that's hard. He has been a fan-favorite ever since stepping on the court for the first time in Jazz uniform after being trade for Gordan Giricek in late December.
"He caught the ball and made shots,' said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "When he's making shots like that, I thought each one of them counted a hundred points, but I looked at the scoreboard and they only counted three. ... It's really exciting for our fans. I can live with it."
As far as Korver's concerned, it's about time in this building. Coming into Monday night's game, he had only hit 22.9 percent of his 3-pointers and 41.1 percent of all his field-goal attempts in the ESA since joining the Jazz. Korver admitted he didn't sizzle the nets in Utah with Philadelphia, either.
"For whatever reason, it's never been a friendly shooting gym for me," he said.
That wasn't the case Monday as his sharpshooting proved deadly against the Hornets' zone. He said he benefited from how New Orleans concentrated on Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Ronnie Brewer, and how the Jazz were able to spread the floor.
"We just have a lot of weapons. You've got to guard everybody. It really opened stuff up for me," Korver said. "I finally had a good shooting night in this arena as far as from three."
Jazz fans responded by chanting "Korver! Korver!' on a couple of occasions. He laughed at that, saying it was a bit "embarrassing."
By the way, he hasn't heard his name called by the NBA front offices yet to take part in the All-Star Weekend 3-point shooting contest and he joked that he might not be able to go anyway. He still hasn't finished moving all of his belongings from Philadelphia.
"I've still got to go get stuff at my house," he said. "They haven't asked me anyway."With more performances like Monday, he just might have to postpone his moving party. He could certainly get a few Jazz fans to help when he's ready.
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