Nicolas Batum on fellow Frenchman Rudy Gobert
The Charlotte Hornets’ defense has been behind the offense this season, but not this far behind.
The Hornets gave up a slew of wide-open 3-pointers to fall to the Utah Jazz 119-111 Friday at Spectrum Center. The Hornets never led, falling to 11-11 for the season.
The Jazz (11-12) made 18-of-40 from 3-point range, with reserve Jae Crowder going 6-of-10 from the arc. Jazz center Rudy Gobert had a huge night with 20 points and 17 rebounds.
The Hornets got 20 points and nine assists from veteran backup point guard Tony Parker, who played a season-high 32 minutes.
Jeremy Lamb had 24 points for the Hornets and Kemba Walker had 21.
Three who mattered
Parker: Was asked to play much longer minutes than typical this season and they needed them on a night when Malik Monk was still recovering from an injury.
Gobert: Has evolved into much more than just a goalie at the rim.
Crowder: He continuously nailed open 3-pointers for Utah.
▪ Gobert’s ability to protect the rim is exceptional. One way teams look to reduce his impact is to make him come out of the lane to guard. That put a premium Friday on Hornets big men with range, such as Frank Kaminsky and Marvin Williams, looking for 3-point shots.
▪ Hornets starting center Cody Zeller suffered a left rib contusion in the first half and did not return.
▪ Hornets coach James Borrego is mindful of 36-year-old Parker’s minutes. However, Friday Parker played 16 minutes in the first half, roughly what they anticipated playing him per game this season.
▪ With Zeller out, Kaminsky started the second half and the Hornets played portions of the second half in small-ball, with a front-court of Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
▪ Hornets guard Malik Monk played sparingly Friday after missing the second half of Wednesday’s home victory over the Atlanta Hawks with a quad contusion.
▪ Kyle Korver, newly acquired in trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, entered the game for the Jazz midway through the first quarter.
▪ Center Bismack Biyombo was the Hornet designated inactive Friday. It was the seventh consecutive game Biyombo hasn’t played, his third consecutive deactivation.
▪ Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera and his wife, Stephanie, sat courtside near the Hornets’ bench.
They said it
“His shooting the ball off the dribble from the 3-point line, I think he’s the best in the league.” – Jazz coach Quin Synder on Kemba Walker.
“They filter their entire defense through him. So we’ve got to move him around.” – Borrego on Gobert.
B OFFENSE: Hornets were surprisingly effective scoring in the lane.
D DEFENSE: The closeouts on the Jazz’s 3-point attempts were consistently poor.
C+ COACHING: James Borrego was searching for right combinations with Zeller and Monk injured.