National Basketball Association
Hornets-Jazz Preview
National Basketball Association

Hornets-Jazz Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 6:13 p.m. ET

Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets have enjoyed a successful week-long stretch that began with the point guard's career night at home against Utah.

Neither Walker nor the Hornets, however, have fared well in Salt Lake City.

Looking to avoid a ninth straight loss there, the Hornets can match a season high with their fourth straight win and second in 10 days over the Jazz on Wednesday night.

Charlotte (22-23) had lost nine of 10 entering the first meeting Jan. 18 but apparently received a spark when Walker scored a career-high 52 points in a 124-119 double-overtime victory over Utah.


"When you get it going like that, the basket gets awful big," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "He's one of those guys that even if you are doing a good job on him, he's capable of scoring."

Walker went 16 of 33 from the floor, made a season-high six 3-pointers on 11 attempts and was 14 of 15 from the free-throw line. He also had nine rebounds and eight assists for the Hornets, who went 14 of 27 from beyond the arc and won despite blowing a 15-point third-quarter lead.

"I just try to make the best plays possible," Walker said. "Anything can happen over a course of a basketball game."

Beginning with that win over Utah (19-25), Walker has averaged 32.6 points and shot 90.7 percent from the line in his last five games.

He hit half of his 76 field-goal attempts in the first three and scored 40 in Friday's 120-116 overtime win at Orlando that snapped a 10-game road skid. Walker has shot 12 of 50 in the last two but totaled 50 points while the Hornets won both.

On Monday, Walker and Co. couldn't prevent Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins from scoring a career-high 56, but they won 129-128 thanks to Troy Daniels' go-ahead 3-pointer with 9 seconds left in the second overtime. Three of the Hornets' four wins in the last five contests have come in overtime, and they're 5-0 in OT games this season.

"As a team, we've all got to stick together," said Daniels, who scored a career-high 28. "You've got to keep pushing."

Walker has averaged 25 points and shot 51.1 percent in five career home games against the Jazz, but has totaled 31 on 11-of-38 shooting while going 0-3 at Utah.

Looking to win three straight road games for the first time this season, Charlotte has averaged 84.0 points and shot 40.3 percent while going 0-8 in Salt Lake City since a 104-89 win March 1, 2006. The Hornets are 5-20 all-time there.

The Jazz, however, have dropped five of seven following Monday's 95-92 home loss to Detroit. Though Utah fought back from a 14-point hole, it shot 40 percent and never led.

Forward Derrick Favors sat out against Charlotte last week, but he had 14 points over 19 minutes Monday in his return after missing 16 games with back spasms.

"At this point it becomes what type of shape is he in?" Snyder said. "(It's) us not wanting to play him beyond what he's capable of right now."

It's uncertain if starting Utah point guard Raul Neto will play after the rookie was hit in the head and exited Monday with what was later revealed to be a concussion.

Teammate Gordon Hayward has averaged 26.5 points in four games, beginning with a season-high 36 and nine assists at Charlotte.


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