Jefferson helps Jazz top Hornets 96-84
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — 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."
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