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Jazz-Hornets Preview

AP - Sports

Despite a drastic difference in their home and road records, the Utah Jazz made the playoffs last season. It might not be as easy for them to return to the postseason if that trend continues.

The Jazz hope to turn things around away from home Wednesday night when they open a three-game trip looking to avoid a fourth straight road loss to the New Orleans Hornets.

Utah (8-7) is 6-0 at EnergySolutions Arena, joining New York and Miami as the NBA's only undefeated teams at home.

The Jazz, however, are 2-7 on the road. They average 102.2 points and allow 92.8 at home, but give up 102.1 and score 96.7 per game on the road.

Those discrepancies are similar to last season, when the Jazz went 25-8 at home and 11-22 on the road but still earned the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Utah has won four of five overall, with the lone defeat coming Saturday at Sacramento. The Jazz trailed by 11 at halftime Monday against visiting Denver, but rallied to win 105-103.

"It helps us out, but we still got to go on the road and prove we can beat teams on the road.'' reserve forward Derrick Favors said.

In order to have a chance on a trip that includes stops in Oklahoma City and Houston, Utah can't afford to be a 24-minute team like it was Monday. The Nuggets shot 73.0 percent in the first half but were held to 36.1 percent shooting as the Jazz outscored them 51-38 over the final two quarters.

"We don't want it to be like that,'' Jazz guard Randy Foye said.

Al Jefferson scored a season-high 28, while Favors also set a season best with 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

"He's been doing that the whole year,'' Foye said of the 6-foot-10 Favors. "He's a great talent. In a few years, he's going to be one of the best power forwards in the league.''

Favors, however, has totaled 19 points on 6-of-24 shooting in his last three road contests. He grabbed nine rebounds but had only four points while Jefferson was held to 10 in an 88-86 loss at New Orleans on Nov. 2.

The Hornets (4-9) have won the last three at home over the Jazz by a combined 19 points, but have won once in four home games since beating Utah. Top overall pick Anthony Davis played only 14 minutes against the Jazz after he took an elbow to the head, but it's a sore ankle that will keep him out for a sixth straight game Wednesday and could sideline him for another two weeks.

Even without Davis, the Hornets should have some momentum after they snapped a seven-game skid with Monday's 105-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers to conclude a 1-3 trip.

"It's been tough for us the whole week, and at the end of the road trip we get this win," said guard Greivis Vasquez, who overcame eight turnovers to record 25 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. "It's going to build some confidence."

Vasquez had 13 points with 10 assists and hit the winning layup with 1.3 seconds left against the Jazz earlier this month.

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