SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) - Gordon Hayward scored 33 points and the Utah Jazz rallied to defeat the Charlotte Hornets 105-98 on Saturday night.
After giving up 38 points in the third quarter, the Jazz turned on the NBA's best defense in the fourth quarter, allowing just 16 points, and outscoring the Hornets by 16 in erasing a 10-point deficit.
The Jazz got big contributions from Hayward, George Hill and Joe Johnson. A 21-4 run was capped by Johnson's 3-pointer from the corner that gave the Jazz a 103-96 lead with 59 seconds remaining. Hayward put on a show with a variety of step-backs and pull-ups and Johnson was a playmaker down the stretch. Hill finished with 25, including five 3-pointers, while Johnson added 18 points and 6 rebounds.
"We got stops and we were able to attack against a defense that wasn't set," Hayward said. "I think we finally hits some open threes that we were missing earlier. But I think it all started defensively for us."
"The fact that there was such a disparity to me points to just focus and mental concentration," said head coach Quin Snyder. "Certainly, that was just them hitting some really tough shots. But on some level it was just our urgency."
The Hornets put on a shooting clinic from behind the arc in the third quarter, but went cold in the fourth and scored just 16 points.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 18 points, and Marvin Williams added 16 points and 12 rebounds. Frank Kaminsky finished with 15 points.
The Jazz went into halftime with a 52-44 lead after trailing by double-digits in the first quarter. Dante Exum scored nine points during a 15-0 run that gave the Jazz their first lead of the game at 31-28. They closed the half with a 9-2 run highlighted by Hayward's alley-oop from Exum.
"I think we can come out them many different ways," Johnson said. "We've got so many different lineups that we can play depending on who we're playing and depending on how things are going in the game. I think the coaches do a great job of feeling that out."
Rudy Gobert added 8 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz.
The Jazz take over sole possession of the fourth seed in the Western Conference, a half game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers. Utah begins a 3-game road trip Monday night in Atlanta.
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