Horton-Tucker scores 37 points as Jazz top Hornets 119-111
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Talen Horton-Tucker scored a season-high 37 points and had 10 assists and nine rebounds as the Utah Jazz defeated the Charlotte Hornets 119-111 on Saturday night for their second straight win.
Walker Kessler added 17 points and 16 rebounds and Kelly Olynyk had 17 points for the Jazz, who outrebounded the Hornets 60-43. Lauri Markkanen had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 24 points and Terry Rozier added 22 for the Hornets, who had their two-game win streak snapped.
The Jazz (33-35) entered the night a half-game behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the 10th spot in the Western Conference.
Horton-Tucker has been pressed into the primary ball-handling role of late because of injuries — and responded in a big way against the Hornets (22-47) while dominating the game from the outset.
Nearly everything was falling from floaters to mid-range jumpers to 3-pointers for Horton-Tucker, who finished 14 of 24 from the field.
His previous season high was 23 points. He had a career-high 40 last season against Golden State.
The Jazz never trailed and took a 58-49 lead into halftime after getting 15 points from Horton-Tucker, including a spin move in the lane that resulted on a one-handed dunk prompting a brief celebration under the basket.
Utah quickly stretched its lead to 20 in the third quarter behind Horton-Tucker, who had 12 points in the third quarter and 10 more in the fourth.
The Hornets entered the fourth quarter down by 16, but closed within seven before Horton-Tucker drove the lane, did a Euro step and got a floater to fall over two defenders after the ball danced on the rim before falling through.
Horton-Tucker added two free throws on Utah's next possession to push the lead to 11 and the Hornets never mounted another serious threat.
Jazz: Jordan Clarkson (left hand) and Collin Sexton (left hamstring) did not play. ... Made 18 of 20 free throws.
Hornets: Nick Richards got the start at center for rookie Mark Williams, who missed his second straight game with a sprained right thumb. ... Had nine blocks in the first half, including a career-high three from Kai Jones.
Jazz: At Miami on Monday night.
Hornets: Host Cleveland on Sunday, the first of two home games in three days against the Cavaliers.
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Steve Reed, The Associated Press