Thursday, March 30, 2023
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NBA Preview: Utah Jazz (32-25) at Charlotte Hornets (22-46)

While the Utah Jazz have just been hurting recently, the Charlotte Hornets are hurt, out of contention, and still making the most of a disappointing situation.

After losing four consecutive games, the Jazz prevailed 131-124 against Orlando on Thursday night. When Utah takes on the Hornets on Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Jazz will attempt to win consecutive games for only the second time since the beginning of February. The Jazz have been around.500 for the majority of the season, but there are still glimmers of hope.

The Hornets are still difficult to comprehend. They had a season-best five-game series of wins snapped and that transformed into a three-game pallet. A seven-game losing streak preceded the winning streak.

They defeated the mediocre Detroit Pistons on Thursday night after winning this week’s game in New York, snapping the Knicks’ nine-game winning streak. Despite making 59.4% of their 32 free throw attempts, the Hornets won.

Mark Williams, a rookie center for Charlotte who had five double-doubles in seven games between February and March, suffered the team’s most recent injury (thumb). Nick Richards, a backup center who has proven to be a valuable asset, has made significant contributions to the Hornets.

At Detroit, Richards played 29 minutes and scored 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Hornets’ Dennis Smith Jr. has demonstrated that he is more than capable of playing point guard. Due to LaMelo Ball’s injuries, which have forced him to miss the rest of the season after ankle surgery, his role has grown multiple times.

In the backcourt, Smith and Terry Rozier have occasionally performed well together. Rozier has played at least 35 minutes in each of his last two games without committing a turnover.

Talen Horton-Tucker has assumed the primary role of ball handler for the Jazz due to injuries. At Orlando, he scored 23 points.

Additionally, it indicates that Horton-Tucker is settling in.

Lauri Markkanen scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Jazz defeated the Hornets 120-102 at home on January 23.

Markkanen has scored 33 and 31 points in his last two games, despite averaging 25.4 points per game. That is the All-Star’s first set of consecutive games with 30 or more points this season.

Charlotte is beginning a five-game homestand for the entire season.

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