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Jazz 95, Hornets 83

The SportsXchange

SALT LAKE CITY - Gordon Hayward scored 23 points, Paul Millsap added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz overcame a slow start to beat the New Orleans Hornets 95-83 victory Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

The victory improved Utah's record to 40-37, keeping them in a tight fight with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Jazz big men Derrick Favors (10 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks) and center Al Jefferson (14 points) were the only other Utah players to hit double figures in scoring. The Jazz, however, received a big boost from bench players DeMarre Carroll, Alec Burks and Jamaal Tinsley in picking up their sixth win in seven games.

Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while guard Greivis Vasquez scored 21 points with nine assists and five rebounds.

Hornets leading scorer Eric Gordon only scored seven points on 2-of-3 shooting and played just 18 minutes.

New Orleans dropped to 26-50 with its eighth straight road loss.

The Hornets began the game looking determined to win on the road for the first time since a Feb. 11 victory in Detroit. The Jazz missed eight shots in a row at home point while New Orleans jumped out to a 20-13 lead in the first quarter.

Things changed quickly for the Jazz when coach Tyrone Corbin inserted Favors, Carroll and Burks in the lineup with about three minutes to go in the first quarter.

Utah, which trailed 24-17 after the first period, opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run, including 3-pointers by Carroll and Tinsley.

Millsap's inside bucket tied the game at 26.

New Orleans stayed in the game, pulling with 66-64 on a Vasquez 3-pointer early in the third quarter. Utah only led by four going into the final quarter when Randy Foye and Hayward drained long shots during an 11-2 Jazz run, which put the home team up for good.

NOTES: This was the first time Gordon played against Utah this season. He missed the first two contests with a right knee injury and was held out the third game to rest on a back-to-back situation. ... Jazz small forward Marvin Williams played after sitting out Thursday's practice with right heel tendinitis. Utah was without backup big man Enes Kanter (dislocated left shoulder) and rookie guard Kevin Murphy (skin infection). ... The Jazz did not announce whether they'll re-sign D-League call-up Jerel McNeal. He dressed against the Hornets, but his 10-day contract expired Friday.
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