Donovan Mitchell puts LaMelo Ball on a merry-go-round
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Donovan Mitchell was instrumental in triggering a statement in the first quarter of the Utah Jazz.
Early in the Utah Jazz’s dominant first quarter at home against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, Donovan Mitchell formed Charlotte Hornets second-year point guard LaMelo Ball with a brilliant carousel move in the paint.
The shake and the score came eight seconds after the All-Star double’s defensive rebound. After Mitchell’s cross dribble let Hornets big man Mason Plumlee do a double take, the 25-year-old wrapped a full circle around the 20-year-old’s rim and ball before finding dirt with a roll finger of the left hand smooth from a few meters further.
Within minutes, Mitchell had been recognized by the official Utah Jazz Twitter account for his dizzying display. The franchise’s tweet referred to the move as one of the many “Donovan things” filed:
Utah Jazz Enjoy These Donovan Mitchell Things
Donovan Mitchell’s above bucket gave Utah an 11-2 lead and set the stage for what turned out to be a 35-16 Jazz advantage to start the second quarter. The fifth-year pro and former No. 13 draft pick finished the first quarter with eight points, a rebound and an assist while shooting 3v4 from the field and 2v3 from beyond the arc.
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At halftime, the Utah Jazz held a 54-41 lead. Mitchell entered the break with 13 points, three boards and a dime after registering a +18 in 16 minutes on floor. Meanwhile, LaMelo Ball struggled in the first half scoring department at just four points while shooting 2v8 from the field and ending the half with a -20 plus-minus. .
Utah entered the game against the Charlotte Hornets (16-16) third in the Western Conference with a 20-9 record. But the reigning NBA regular-season champions had just suffered back-to-back losses in Salt Lake City to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night and the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.