The first half of this game was ugly. The Jazz scored a lot of their early points at the free throw line while turning the ball over enough to let the Hornets stay in it. The tide shifted in favor of the Jazz in the second quarter, thanks to woeful Hornets offense. The Hornets made just five of their 24 second quarter field goal attempts while going 1-of-11 from three. It resulted in a 16 point quarter and a 13 point halftime deficit.
The second half was the Kemba Walker show. The three time All Star got hot from distance, connecting on all four of his 3-point attempts and several other jumpers. He got to the free throw line eleven times and converted all but one of those attempts. He scored 22 points in the fourth quarter alone. He spurred the Hornets offense to 63 second half point, but as has typically been the case in recent games, the Hornets couldn’t get enough stops for it to matter. The Jazz scored 59 second half points and never let the Hornets close the gap to single digits apart from a couple very brief instances.
Jeremy Lamb and Willy Hernangomez also chipped in strong offensive performances. Lamb scored 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting and Hernangomez scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
The other eight players that played combined to score 17 points on 7-of-36 shooting. That’s 19.4%. They made 2-of-18 3-poiners. That’s 11.1%. Both of those numbers are very bad.
Starters not named Kemba Walker combined for six whole points. The combo of Miles Bridges, Marvin Williams, Frank Kaminsky, and Devonte’ Graham scored a total of 0 points in 88 total minutes. That group went 0-for-19 from the field, 0-for-12 from three, and didn’t attempt a free throw. I don’t think you need me to tell you what those percentages are.
This game was emblematic of the problems plaguing the Hornets this season, albeit to an extreme degree. Kemba Walker tried to drag a poorly performing supporting cast to a win, but they would have none of it. Those offensive woes were compounded by the team’s inability to get consistent stops.
With this loss, the Hornets sit three games out of the postseason with seven games to play. They have to win at least six of their final seven to have a realistic shot of making the postseason, but even that might be enough.
They’ll have to start on Wednesday in New Orleans when they take on the Pelicans.