Notebook: Jazz 104, Hornets 99



Posted Jan 31, 2013 1:04 AM

By Andrew Aragon, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: It wasn't the dominant bounce-back performance the Utah Jazz were looking for, but it at least got them going in the right direction. Paul Millsap had 25 points and Al Jefferson scored 22 as the Jazz beat the New Orleans Hornets 104-99 on Wednesday night. Utah (25-21) regrouped after suffering its worst home loss in franchise history against the Houston Rockets on Monday.

The Hornets (15-31), who were without leading scorer Eric Gordon because of a sore right knee, built a 12-point lead in the first quarter and stayed close to Utah for much of the game. Greivis Vasquez led New Orleans with 17 points and 13 assists.

QUOTABLE: "It's tough to let a game like that go. It felt like it was getting out of hand quick. We knew we had to get our legs under us and get out and get to work before what happened [on Monday] happened again. We didn't want that."

--Jazz forward Paul Millsap on rebounding from Monday's loss and Wednesday's slow start

THE STAT: The Jazz got back to doing what's effective for them -- pounding the ball inside and getting points in the paint. They had 48 points in the paint against the Hornets, with 42 of them coming in the first three quarters.

TURNING POINT: The Jazz still seemed to be a little shell-shocked from their 45-point loss to the Rockets early in the game and they quickly fell behind by double digits. Utah took its first lead of the game during an 11-2 run in the second quarter and it seemed to give the Jazz a psychological boost. Millsap gave the Jazz their first lead at 40-39 with a free throw, and Randy Foye capped the run with a technical free throw to put Utah ahead 45-41. Utah played much better and more confidently the rest of the way, only falling behind by one point on three separate occasions in the third quarter. The Jazz outscored the Hornets 32-18 in the second quarter.

HOT: Millsap bounced back from his least productive game of the season -- as well as a cold first quarter to lead the Jazz. He made seven of his last eight shot attempts and scored 19 of his points in the second half. Millsap had just four points and two rebounds on Monday. Derrick Favors helped the Jazz get back in the game in the second quarter and finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Ryan Anderson scored 16 points and made three 3-pointers -- the last of which pulled New Orleans within 100-97 with 15.1 seconds remaining. Anthony Davis played like a No. 1 overall pick -- when he could stay on the court -- and shot 7-for-9, finishing with 14 points and seven rebounds. Jason Smith gave New Orleans a lift off the bench with 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting.

NOT: Vasquez led New Orleans in points and steals, but his overall play could have been better. He took a game-high 21 shots, making eight of them. He committed four turnovers and didn't manage the game properly. For the Jazz, starting shooting guard Marvin Williams scored in double digits for the first time in eight games with 11 points, but he shot just 2-for-10.

QUOTABLE II: "It might be me putting the wrong guys in the game. it seems to be the same few guys making the mistakes. That may sound harsh. This is a harsh league. Guys don't understand how you have to play on a consistent basis [or] that is the output you're going to have."

--Hornets coach Monty Williams on his team's struggles in the second quarter

GOOD MOVE: With second-unit scorer Gordon Hayward sidelined, Utah coach Tyrone Corbin found a spark by having starter Foye play Hayward's role in the second quarter. Foye helped Utah get going, scoring 11 of his 14 points and playing 20 minutes in the first half. With Foye providing the scoring, backup point guard Earl Watson did a good job of pushing tempo and giving the Jazz some energy. Corbin made another solid adjustment by moving Favors off of New Orleans sharpshooter Anderson. Favors guarded Anderson when he entered the game, got caught up in screens and quickly gave up back-to-back 3-pointers. Corbin changed the matchup, and Favors was more effective on other players the rest of the way.

BAD MOVE: The Hornets may have pulled off the upset if they had played better defense without fouling so much. They committed eight more fouls than Utah. Davis was limited to just 22 minutes because he was in foul trouble for much of the contest. Anderson fouled out, while Robin Lopez and Roger Mason each had five fouls.

NOTABLE: The Hornets continued to sit Gordon in the second game of back-to-back sets while he recovers from right knee trouble. New Orleans fell to 7-25 when Gordon, who had 25 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, does not play. The Jazz were without key reserve Hayward for the second straight game. He is recovering from a right shoulder sprain suffered against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. New Orleans fell to 1-20 when its opponent scores 100 or more points. Foye has sank 102 3-pointers in 46 games this season. He's the fastest Jazzman in franchise history to make 100 3-pointers.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Friday @ Denver, Saturday @ Minnesota, Wednesday vs. Suns. For the Jazz, Friday vs. Trail Blazers, Saturday @ Portland, Monday vs. Kings.