Jazz 96, Hornets 84

Gordon Hayward was on the bench, in the middle of what looked

like a third straight frustrating outing when he heard the thud of

Marvin Williams’ head hitting the far end of the court.

Williams had been Utah’s leading scorer to that point, but left

with a concussion late in the third quarter. Hayward checked back

in soon after and burst out of his recent slump in time to head off

New Orleans’ comeback attempt, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the

final quarter to seal the Jazz’s 96-84 victory over the Hornets on

Wednesday night.

”I started to hit some shots, which was good. More importantly

we kind of pulled away from them a little bit as a team and we

started this road trip off right,” said Hayward, who scored 12

points combined in his previous two games. ”It just kind of came

to me. I was able to step up and knock some big shots down. I

haven’t hit those in the past three games so it’s good for me to

finally knock down some shots.”

Al Jefferson had 19 points, scoring 13 in the first half of what

often looked like a sloppy and disjointed game, with each team

committing more than 15 turnovers.

”It’s a road win for us. That’s what we came out to get,” Jazz

coach Ty Corbin said. ”We toughed it out. … We were together

enough to get it together at the end of the game, to win it in the

fourth quarter.”

Paul Millsap scored 16 points and Williams also had 16 before

hitting the court hard during a scramble for a rebound.

”I heard it from all the way down on the bench,” Hayward said.

”It looked pretty painful.”

Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez each scored 18 points for New

Orleans, which has lost eight of nine. Brian Roberts added 11

points. But the Hornets, who defeated Utah in an earlier meeting

this season, struggled from 3-point range this time, going 5 of

21.

Utah was a disciplined 6 of 11 from deep.

”We looked like a young team,” Hornets coach Monty Williams

said. ”Some of our young guys were making mistakes where they knew

it when they made it and when the coaches talked to them. That is

part of this process.”

Utah outshot the Hornets 49.2 percent (31 of 63) to 42.5 percent

(31 of 73) and outscored the Hornets 28-17 from the free throw

line, more than compensating for New Orleans’ 44-38 scoring edge in

the paint. Millsap was 10 of 12 from the foul line.

”We attacked the basket and put some pressure on the referees

to make some calls,” Jefferson said. ”Any time we get to the line

like that, it’s going to help us.”

The Jazz began to take command in the third quarter,

methodically building a double-digit lead while the Hornets

struggled from the field. New Orleans made only five of 14 shots in

the period, missing all five 3-point attempts, while Utah made 10

of 17 shots (59 percent). Millsap had nine of his points in the

quarter and Williams added eight before his fall forced him from

the game.

Still the Jazz continued to pull away, thanks to Kanter’s

three-point play and inside basket, the second of which put Utah up

72-56 heading into the final quarter.

”We lost the game in the third quarter,” Vasquez said. ”We

didn’t execute and they outscored us 31-17.

”We cannot afford to lose like we did,” he added. ”We are

much better than what we showed tonight.”

That proved too much for New Orleans to overcome, despite a 13-4

run to start the fourth quarter which narrowed the score to

76-69.

That’s when Hayward took over, hitting a pair of 3s and scoring

as he was fouled by Austin Rivers to help Utah regain a

double-digit lead. His end-to-end fast-break layup put Utah up by

13 with about two minutes left.

After the teams finished the first quarter tied at 20, the

Hornets went more than half of the second quarter without scoring a

point. New Orleans missed seven shots and had six turnovers during

that stretch, but Utah was not able to parlay New Orleans’ drought

into a big lead, going up 29-20 before Lopez hit a pair of free

throws and the Hornets started to close the gap.

New Orleans outscored Utah 18-12 the rest of the quarter, with

Vasquez hitting a 3, a floater and finger roll, the last basket

cutting Utah’s lead to 41-39 at halftime.

NOTES: Hornets rookie Anthony Davis (left ankle) missed his

sixth-straight game and Monty Williams said before tip-off that he

did not expect Davis back for Saturday night’s home game against

Oklahoma City, either. … Utah was without Mo Williams (right

foot) for a third straight game, but Corbin said he expects

Williams to be back Friday night at Oklahoma City. As for Williams’

head injury, it was too early to tell. ”Hopefully, he is fine,”

Corbin said. … Utah has won five of six games. …The Hornets’

3-point woes came two nights after making 15 of 25 3-point attempts

in a road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. … Lopez did not

block a shot for the first time this season.