Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/28/12
NEW ORLEANS --- Al Jefferson scored 19 points and Utah forced 19 turnovers in the first three quarters as the Jazz defeated the New Orleans Hornets 96-84 Wednesday night at the New Orleans Arena. The road victory was a breakthrough of sorts for the Jazz, who are 6-0 at home but won for only the third time in 10 road games. Paul Millsap and Marvin Williams added 16 points each Playing without point guard Mo Williams, Utah built a 72-56 lead on the strength of a 31-17 third quarter in which it forced nine New Orleans turnovers and held the Hornets to 5-of-14 shooting. Williams scored eight of his 16 points in the period but had to be helped to the bench late in the quarter after hitting his head and falling to the floor. The Hornets got within seven points on three separate occasions in the fourth quarter -- the last at 84-77 with 5:14 left -- but Gordon Hayward hit a pair of 3-pointers and converted a conventional three-point play in the final 7:08 to help the Jazz regain their cushion. Hayward scored 13 of his 15 points in the final quarter. The Jazz was able to pound the ball inside, making 28-of-38 free throws, while the Hornets didn't shoot their first free throw until 5:09 left in the second quarter, finishing 19-of-26 from the line. The Hornets were paced by Greivis Vasquez with 18 points and Robin Lopez with 17. The Jazz held the Hornets scoreless for the first 6:51 of the second quarter during a 9-0 run to take a 29-20 lead. The Hornets didn't score their first field goal until 4:40 left in the period on a drive to the basket by Lopez. Both teams were careless with the ball in the early going. Utah committed 11 turnovers, and New Orleans had 10, including eight in a 13-minute stretch of the first half, when they also missed 14 of 16 shots. The Hornets could not stop Jefferson, who scored 13 first-half points on an array of post-ups and short jumpers. But New Orleans used a 19-12 run in the final 5:09 of the second quarter to close the deficit to 41-39 at halftime. Lopez led the way by scoring six of his 10 first-half points in that stretch. NOTES: Utah guard Mo Williams missed the game with a sprained right forefoot. ... Hornets coach Monty Williams said rookie forward Anthony Davis, who has missed the last six games, had his left ankle examined again by doctors Wednesday. "That's normal protocol," Williams said. Davis likely will be sidelined at least through Saturday's game against Oklahoma City. "We're just erring on the side of caution," Williams said. ... The Hornets are encouraged by the progress of shooting guard Eric Gordon, who has played in only nine games the last two seasons and is rehabbing a lingering knee injury in Los Angeles. Gordon attended the Hornets' 105-98 victory Monday against the Clippers. He is expected to be out through at least mid-December. "It seemed like he was in really good spirits," Williams said. "He said his knee is coming along. If you watched the game and (saw) him on the bench, I think that spoke volumes as to how he feels about his teammates and staff."
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