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Millsap leads Jazz over Hornets 104-99

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 31, 2013 at 12:44 am •  Published: January 31, 2013

It didn't help that the Hornets sat leading scorer Eric Gordon as they have as part of a medical protocol when playing the second game of a back-to-back.

The Jazz climbed back into the game in the second quarter behind one of their young players, Derrick Favors, and one of their oldest veterans, Earl Watson. Watson pushed the pace and Favors was a beast inside, hitting 4 of 4 shots in the quarter and corralling three rebounds.

Utah also dominated the paint in the second, holding an 18-8 edge on points.

DeMarre Carroll's fast-break layup tied it at 39 with 5:59 left in the half and Utah took a 51-47 lead into the break, with Millsap finally scoring a field goal after starting 0 for 4.

"We fought last night in the second quarter," guard Roger Mason, who started in place of Gordon, said of a comeback attempt against the Lakers. "Tonight we gave up 32 points. We can't afford to do things like that."

Jefferson had his hands full with Robin Lopez, who finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

"Lopez is a big dude," Jefferson said. "I'm glad his brother is not in the Western Conference because I couldn't deal with both of them. ... He's just a physical big guy. It will always be a battle with me and him because he (will) do the little things. He's going to beat you on the boards. He's going to defend well."

Millsap, who turned up his aggression in the third quarter, scored 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting as the Jazz took a 78-75 lead into the fourth.

He scored on a drive where he hung in the air and was fouled by Davis, then got Davis to pick up foul No. 4 with 8:45 left in the third.

Millsap would get Anderson to pick up his fourth four minutes later.

When the fourth started, Utah quickly bumped its lead to eight, with Alec Burks hitting a 3-pointer on a nice feed from Millsap. The Jazz increased the lead to 90-80 on a pair of free throws by Burks with 7:16 remaining.

Davis then made it a game.

But the Jazz held on, avoiding another embarrassment.

NOTES: Williams said the team continues to follow the medical protocol it set for Gordon, holding him out in the second game of back-to-backs. Gordon has come back from a knee injury that caused him to miss the first third of this season, and all but nine games last year. ... Both teams have five players score in double figures, with Lopez adding 15 and Davis 14 for the Hornets. . Favors added 15 points, Foye 14 and Marvin Williams 11 for Utah. . The Jazz are still without starting point guard Mo Williams (thumb surgery) and third-leading scorer Gordon Hayward (sprained shoulder.). . The Hornets shot 68.8 percent in the first quarter but made just 5 of 18 shots (27.8 percent) in the second. Vasquez was particularly cold, hitting just 1 of 7 shots in the second and turning it over twice. His complaining earned him a technical with 3:24 left in the half.