It's been an up-and-down season for the Utah Jazz, with consistency hard to come by. But after reeling off a five-game win streak, Joe Ingles believes things are starting to come together.
Six players scored in double figures in their 114-107 win over the Charlotte Hornets, led by 26 points from Bojan Bogdanovic. Donovan Mitchell added 20 points and Rudy Gobert recorded his 21st double-double of the season with 17 points and 19 rebounds, adding three blocks in the win.
So what's changed for the Jazz?
"I think just kind of figuring it out," Ingles told NBA.com post-game.
"As boring as that sounds, with a lot of new guys, obviously a pretty complex system the way we play, just game-by-game figuring it out. A lot of film, a lot of practice, getting used to guys, how they play, the system and all that. I think we're getting better and better as the season goes on."
Ingles again took the reigns of the Jazz offence, dishing out seven assists to go with his 14 points, while Donovan Mitchell led the way with nine assists on the night. The Jazz piled up 27 assists on their 39 made field goals.
Teamwork makes the dream work!- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) December 21, 2019
The Jazz keep the ball moving, leading to the Ingles triple 🎯
📲💻: Watch the 4th Q LIVE: https://t.co/5kUZEUZvvX pic.twitter.com/CgpdSSvThs
With the ball moving in Charlotte, Utah knocked down 17-of-34 from the three-point line, with Ingles continuing his aggressive play, connecting on 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, telling NBA.com he's feeling "a lot better" letting it fly from deep.
"I think same thing, just figuring out how to play, when to be aggressive, when not to be aggressive, but yeah, if I'm open, shoot it," Ingles said. "I think I was hesitating a bit earlier on, probably because it wasn't going in, but just trying to stay as aggressive as possible."
With Mike Conley Jr. in and out of the lineup with a hamstring injury, Ingles has stepped up his production, both facilitating the Jazz offence and shooting the ball, knocking down 50% of his threes in his past eight games.
Ingles has started each of the past eight games and there's no doubt the Aussie has looked more comfortable in the starting lineup. But regardless of his role, the 32-year-old says he's comfortable adapting where the team needs it.
"I don't want to use it as an excuse or anything," Ingles said.
"I think I would have figured it out coming off the bench, obviously with Mike's injury, it's changed things a little bit at the moment and if it ends up going back that way I'll figure it out. I've got great teammates, great coaching staff and I'll figure out a way to be effective whether it's starting or coming off the bench."
Three of their wins during the streak, including today's, have come on the road, where they have struggled this season, with a 7-8 record away from Vivint Smart Home Arena.
With five of their next seven games on the road, the Jazz will look to continue their momentum, beginning Tuesday against the in-form Miami Heat.
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