The New Orleans Hornets continued their slide vs. the Utah Jazz. The Hornets had lost six straight going into last nights game, and after a thumping by the Jazz the Hornets would be on their longest losing streak of the season at seven.
The Jazz who got their largest margin of victory of the season had lost two straight at home. Carlos Boozer lead all scorers with 21 points, Deron Williams added 20, and Mehmet Okur added 18 more for the Jazz, who had all five starters score in double figures
The Jazz started the game quickly, which is very uncharacteristic of them, Kirilenko made a top of the key jumper, and Mehmet Okur added a pair of free throws to give the Jazz a 4-0 lead.
The Hornets got into things with a Rusual Butler jumper and followed by a Kirk Snyder three. Snyder a former Jazz player would score eight first quarter points to keep the Hornets in the game early.
The Hornets were able to take the lead late in the first quarter, behind the play of Chris Paul. Paul wasn’t scoring much but he was finding PJ Brown and Snyder for easy baskets. The easy baskets combined with poor Jazz shooting allowed the Hornets to build up a 6-point lead with two minutes to go in the first.
The Jazz were able to cut the lead to four by the end of the first quarter, behind a couple of Harpring jumpers, and a Devin Brown lay-up.
The teams traded baskets to start the 2nd, but after a McLeod three, and a Palacio lay-up the Jazz lead 41-40. The Hornets however were quick to regain their lead, but it wouldn’t last long. The Jazz would comeback with most their starters and would begin to build a lead they would never relinquish.
The Jazz would have a three-point lead going into the half, but it didn’t come without some controversy. With less than 30 second to go, and the Jazz up five, Keith McLeod drove to the basket, making a lay-up and drawing contact. The Refs ruled it an offensive foul, and Jazz coach threw a fit. Then on the opposite end of the floor, the refs gave Jazz guard Deron Williams a ticky-tack foul. After the buzzer had sounded Sloan and referee Tony Brown had a long discussion at mid court.
The Jazz started the second half off by going inside to Carlos Boozer, who scored six of the first 10 points for the Jazz. Utah took a quick eight point lead, before the Hornets were able to cut it down to four on a pair of Paul free throws.
That would be the closest the Hornets would get, the Hornets would miss their next 12 shots, and the Jazz would go on a 14-0 run to put the game out of reach. During the run the Hornets would miss two lay-ups, and four free throws. The Jazz would also get dunks from Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer, and Deron Williams
The Jazz would lead 84-68 after three. The complete dominance of the Hornets in the quarter is something rarely witnessed by Jazz fans. All season long the Jazz have played from behind, so it was a change of pace to actually see them ahead for a change.
The Hornets tried chipping into the Jazz lead a little during the fourth quarter, but it just wasn’t enough. After the Hornets made it 84-70, Utah went on a 10-2 run to give them a 94-72 lead.
The Jazz emptied their bench with about three minutes to go, players like Kris Humphries, CJ Miles, and Greg Ostertag all saw their fist minutes in a long time.
The Jazz would win the game 104-80, usurping their 100-80 victory over Milwaukee in November as the largest win of the season.