Jazz-Bobcats Preview

The Charlotte Bobcats can secure their longest win streak in

three seasons by ending their futility against the Utah Jazz.

The Bobcats will also try to move back to .500 when they attempt

to snap their eight-game skid to the visiting Jazz on Saturday

night.

Charlotte outscored Detroit 41-17 in the fourth quarter Friday

and rallied from a 20-point deficit for a 116-106 victory. Kemba

Walker scored 34 points – one shy of matching his career best – in

the Bobcats’ third straight victory, and Al Jefferson had 15 of his

24 points in the final period

“It’s real big, especially for a team like us, trying to prove

ourselves,” he said. “We came back from 20 points down and we just

kept fighting, and stayed together.”

Walker is averaging 27.8 points and shooting 63.9 percent in his

last four games while Jefferson matched his best scoring

performance of the season, set in Wednesday’s 104-102 overtime win

in Toronto.

They’ll next try to lead Charlotte (13-14) to its first

four-game win streak since March 25-30, 2011.

The Bobcats would appear to have a good opportunity to end that

drought Saturday. The Jazz (7-22) own the worst record in the

Western Conference and were blown out 118-85 in Atlanta on

Friday.

Gordon Hayward was the only starter in double figures (11

points), and Utah had its third-worst shooting performance of the

season (37.2 percent). The Jazz also missed 15 of 18 attempts from

3-point range.

They had won three of their previous five games and four of six

on the road, including an 86-82 victory over Orlando on

Wednesday.

“I thought we didn’t come out with the sense of urgency we’d

been seeing,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “I thought we’d turned the

corner, I felt like, the way we played in Orlando the other night.

I was looking for that effort. We just didn’t have it from the

beginning tonight.”

The Jazz have won in each of their last four trips to Charlotte,

but Jefferson was the leading scorer for Utah in the most recent

one, a 112-102 victory Jan. 9. The center played three seasons for

Utah before signing a three-year deal with the Bobcats in July and

will face his former club for the first time.

Jefferson was out with a sprained ankle during the most recent

matchup, but the Jazz registered a 98-68 rout March 1 in Salt Lake

City. Enes Kanter had career highs of 23 points and 22 rebounds in

that game.

The Bobcats’ most recent win over Utah was a 104-96 victory in

Charlotte on Nov. 14, 2008. They will try to earn another while

returning to .500 for the first time since they were 7-7 on Nov.

23.