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Jazz rebound from worst loss with win over Hornets

The SportsXchange

SALT LAKE CITY -- It wasn't a blowout like many of their flustered fans would've preferred, but the Utah Jazz bounced back from Monday's humiliating loss to Houston.

Paul Millsap scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Al Jefferson had 22 points as the Jazz rebounded to beat the New Orleans Hornets 104-99 Wednesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

"Absolutely. Absolutely," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We got the result we were looking for."

Jefferson scored six points in the final four minutes, including a key jumper to put the Jazz up 99-94 with 1:16 remaining.

Jazz guard Randy Foye added 14 points, including three game-clinching free throws in the final 18 seconds. Millsap, who hit 7 of 12 shots, also had a pair of foul shots in the closing seconds to help Utah wrap this one up.

The Jazz improved to 25-21 and 16-5 at home with the tight victory, which came two nights after a 125-80 blowout loss to the Houston Rockets that players admitted was embarrassing.

"We knew that the next game was going to be tough," Millsap said. "We started off slow, but we got ourselves going and ended up winning the game, but it feels good."

Greivis Vasquez tallied 17 points and 13 assists and Ryan Anderson added 16 points for the Hornets, who fell to 15-31 with their second loss in as many nights.

"We fought last night (in Los Angeles) in the second quarter. Tonight we had a good start and in the second quarter gave up 32 points. We just can't afford to do things like that," said Hornets guard Roger Mason, whose team watched a 12-point first-quarter lead turn into a four-point halftime deficit. "We fought, but we gave up a lot of points in the paint, which hurt us last time against Utah."

Rookie Anthony Davis got hot late in the game to help New Orleans make this one interesting. Davis had 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and twice cut the lead down to one with inside buckets, including a tip that made it 95-94 with 2:18 remaining.

Millsap and Jefferson followed with consecutive jumpers to give the Jazz a five-point lead that they held onto down the stretch.

"I thought it was real pretty," Jefferson said. "It's a win, especially compared to Monday night."

The Jazz came out looking like they still had a hangover from Monday's 45-point loss to the Rockets, which was the worst home loss in the 39-year history of the franchise.

The Hornets, despite playing a late game the night before in Los Angeles, powered their way to an early double-digit lead. Anderson put New Orleans up 24-12 and the visitors took a 29-19 edge into the second quarter.

"It's tough to let a game like that go. You have to move on and put one foot ahead of the other and keep pushing," said Millsap, who had 19 points in the second half. "We let it go and we came out tonight. It seemed like it was getting ready to go that way again, but we got it going and won the game."

The Jazz, sparked by Foye's outside shooting and Derrick Favors' interior presence, opened the quarter with an 11-3 run. Foye and Favors each had 11 points by halftime, when Utah had turned the big deficit into a 51-47 lead.

"It might be me putting the wrong guys in the game. It seems to be the same few guys making the mistakes. That may sound harsh," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "This is a harsh league. Guys don't understand how you have to play on a consistent basis. That is the output you're going to have."

After Monday, the Jazz will take it.

NOTES: With it being the second night of a back-to-back, Hornets guard Eric Gordon dressed but did not play to rest his sore right knee. "I don't know how long it's going to last," Williams said. "I wish it was over. As a coach, you want all your guys available, but everybody is dealing with that. It happens. We want to make sure we do everything medically right in Eric's situation." ... The Jazz were also without Gordon (Hayward). The sixth man missed his second consecutive game with a sprained right shoulder. "We want to make sure he's well when he gets back. We want him to be healthy for the rest of the year for us," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "As bad as I want him back in the lineup, we have to do the smart thing and the right thing by him." ... Louisiana native Millsap was asked about New Orleans changing its nickname from Hornets to Pelicans. The Jazz forward smiled and repeated: "It's the state bird."

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