Jefferson has 22 points, Jazz beat Hornets 94-90
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)
Josh Howard scored 13 points off the bench for the Jazz, including six straight in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 80. C.J. Miles had 11 points and four rebounds as the Jazz (2-3) won their second at home to offset three blowout losses on the road.
Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 27 points for New Orleans (2-3), which dropped its third straight. The Hornets continued to struggle from 3-point range, making just 3 of 10 shots.
Utah trailed by as many as seven points early but had a 32-point second-quarter, with key contributions from rookies Enes Kanter and Alec Burks and took a 50-47 lead into halftime.
Rookie center Kanter scored a pair of putbacks, Derrick Favors scored off an alley-oop from Earl Watson and Watson drew his second charge. Burks also hit his first career 3-pointer with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half, and gave the Jazz a 41-37 lead after he battled to grab his own miss then scored on a driving layup.
Burks got a rousing round of applause when he entered the game for veteran Raja Bell, who has struggled to find his shot this season. Bell entered the game shooting just 29.4 percent (5 of 17) overall and 1 of 7 from 3-point range, and missed his first two attempts Monday.
The Jazz were outrebounded in the first half but held a 28-16 advantage on points in the paint, with Jefferson finding his touch. They also held an 8-0 advantage on the fast break.
The Hornets led 22-18 after the first quarter, making seven of their first 11 shots. Jason Smith made four straight jumpers off the bench as New Orleans led by as many as seven early. He finished with a season-high 16.
Chris Kaman scored the Hornets' first six points and 10 overall in the second quarter.
New Orleans outscored Utah 11-4 to open the second half and regain the lead, but Favors and Jefferson brought the Jazz back. Jefferson scored 12 points in the first seven minutes of the third quarter, and added a block, while Favors had a pair of rebounds and a block.
But Jack turned the momentum back toward the Hornets. He scored seven straight points during a 9-0 Hornets run and New Orleans led 74-70 going into the fourth quarter.
Jack had a late turnover and missed several key 3-pointers down the stretch.
NOTES: Utah outscored New Orleans 50-32 in the paint. ... Howard was fined $25,000 Monday for a flagrant foul in Saturday's game against the Spurs in which he hit James Anderson in the head. Head coach Tyrone Corbin was surprised at the fine. ''It's unfortunate. I thought he made a basketball foul. I don't think he was going out to deliberately hurt the guy, but he made contact with his head,'' Corbin said. ''They made it a point of emphasis the last couple of years.'' ... Hornets leading scorer, guard Eric Gordon, missed his fourth straight game with a bruised knee and remains listed as day to day. ... New Orleans forward Trevor Ariza exited in the fourth quarter with a strained groin. ...The slow-starting Jazz made only 3 of their first 11 shots Monday.