Jazz rebound from embarrassing loss, edge Bobcats

John Delong, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Utah Jazz got embarrassed on Friday night.
So the night after a 33-point blowout loss at Atlanta, the Jazz were out for redemption Saturday night.
They got it in the form of an 88-85 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, on a night when they had to rally from an 11-point first-half deficit and then ultimately hold on with several key defensive stops in the closing minutes.
Guard Trey Burke scored 20 points, including a 3-pointer that gave the Jazz the lead for good at 86-83 with 2:40 remaining and two free throws with 10.2 seconds left that pushed a one-point lead to three.
The rookie was pleased with the team's resiliency afterward.
"It means a lot," Burke said. "Obviously having the ugly game we had as a team last night, we wanted to come out here and play with a lot of intensity and win the game, and that's what we did."
The Jazz, who entered the game with the worst record in the NBA, are now 8-22.
"I can't say enough about how much I appreciate the effort after the performance last night in Atlanta," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "They showed a lot of fight. I've said all year, after the struggles we had early in the year, they won't quit. I told them I wouldn't quit on them, and they said they wouldn't quit on us or themselves, and they have continued to fight.
"That's the only way you're going to get better, to keep coming back and keep coming back. If you don't play your best one night you fight your way back. This group has shown a lot of that."
"Corbin had high praise for Burke, who scored 30 in a win at Orlando earlier on the trip but had gone just 1 of 8 from the field for two points in the 118-85 loss at Atlanta.
"It's a great response, after having his big game in Orlando and then having the game he had last night," Corbin said. "He's a rookie so he's going to have some ups and downs, but he was aggressive and made the big plays when we needed them tonight."
The Jazz also got 14 points from center Derrick Favors, 13 points from forward Richard Jefferson, 12 points and 10 rebounds from guard Gordon Hayward, and 11 points from guard Alec Burks.
The Jazz came held the Bobcats scoreless over the last 2:12, dodging bullets all the way to the final buzzer.
With Utah leading 86-85, Bobcats guard Kemba Walker missed a drive with about 15 seconds left, and teammate Al Jefferson missed two tips from point-blank range.
Burke eventually came out of the pack with the ball and was fouled, and he hit two free throws with 10.2 remaining for an 88-85 lead.
Charlotte then got two chances to tie in the closing seconds, but Walker missed a 3-pointer and then after an offensive rebound, guard Gerald Henderson missed another at the final buzzer.
"The basketball gods weren't on our side tonight" Jefferson said. "No excuses. I should have made that, I had two chances to do it and they didn't go in for me."
Walker led the Bobcats with 20 points. Jefferson had 19 points and 11 rebounds against his former team, guard Ramon Sessions scored 13, and Henderson scored 12.
The Bobcats, 13-15, had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"Overall it's been a great week for us," Jefferson said. "We would rather have a 4-0 week but we didn't, so we've just got to get ready for Milwaukee on Monday and go into the Christmas break one under .500."
"Obviously, that's a disappointing result," Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. "If you look at the end of the game, we had chances to make shots, but the ball didn't go in the basket. We did a good job defensively when we needed to. We gave ourselves a chance to win the ballgame."
NOTES: At halftime, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan unveiled the logo for the team once it changes its name to Hornets next season. It's a little less cartoonish than the original Hornets logo, a little fiercer. ... Bobcats Coach Steve Clifford said F Jeffery Taylor will be out for the remainder of the season after suffering a ruptured right Achilles in the first minute of the Bobcats' 116-106 win at Detroit on Friday night. F Anthony Tolliver moved into Taylor's starting spot and F Chris Douglas-Roberts and G Ben Gordon were both in the rotation. ... The Bobcats are also missing F Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist (fractured left hand) and C Brendan Haywood (stress fracture left foot). Kidd-Gilchrist will continue to wear a cast until Dec. 27. ... The Jazz will wind up traveling 4,684 miles in eight days on this trip, with stops in Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte and Memphis. ... The Bobcats were opening a three-game homestand on Saturday night. They'll host Milwaukee on Monday. ... The Jazz will close out this road trip on Monday at Memphis.

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