Poor defense is the culprit for the Utah Jazz's awful stretch on the road. Not many teams have had trouble stopping the Charlotte Bobcats, regardless of the venue.
The Jazz look to snap a six-game road losing streak when they face the punchless Bobcats on Wednesday night in the teams' first meeting of the season.
Utah (14-12) is in danger of dropping seven straight on the road for the first time since an eight-game skid from March 4-April 6, 2005.
The Jazz have allowed 110.7 points per game during their road losing streak, and 105.7 in 15 contests away from EnergySolutions Arena on the season. That is in stark contrast to their scoring defense at home, where they have allowed 92.6 points a contest to rank among the league leaders.
Utah allowed Atlanta to shoot 57.6 percent in a 116-111 loss on Monday night in the first of four straight road games for the Jazz. Utah gave up 65 points in the second half.
"You've got to play a perfect finish the way we've been playing," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "This was not even close to that.
"We've got to do something where we help each other."
The Jazz, who ended a six-game losing streak with a win over Seattle on Saturday, have lost seven of eight. Utah's defense may fare better against Charlotte (8-14), which ranks near the bottom of the league in scoring at 91.9 points per game.
The Bobcats, who have lost 10 of 12 games after a 6-4 start, have been held under 90 points in five of their last seven games. That was the case again Saturday in a 93-84 loss at Atlanta.
"I have to figure more ways to help my team get a win," said Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace, who leads the team with 18.5 points and 2.0 steals per game. "We have to figure out what we want as a team, and which way to go to get there. We're talking about the playoffs, but we just have to go out there and do it."
Wallace and the Bobcats will need to find a way to outscore a Utah team featuring one of the premier post scorers in the league in Carlos Boozer, who had a season-high 39 points and 12 rebounds against Atlanta.
Boozer fouled out with 2 seconds left, finishing two points shy of matching his career high of 41 set in a win over Washington on March 26. The veteran forward is averaging a career-best 25.4 points and 11.7 rebounds on the season.
Wallace, meanwhile, is also coming off a strong effort, finishing with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting while grabbing seven boards in Saturday's loss to the Hawks. He went 7-for-9 from the free-throw line, but his teammates combined to shoot 9-for-18 from the stripe.
A bright spot for Atlanta was Nazr Mohammed's play off the bench. Mohammed, acquired in a trade with Detroit on Friday, made his first appearance for the Bobcats in the second quarter and finished with six points and three assists in 19 minutes.
Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said Mohammed will play a limited role as he adjusts to his new teammates.
Charlotte and Utah each won a game at home in last season's series, and have split six all-time meetings.
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