Jazz-Hornets preview

In the wake of Monday night’s historic 45-point loss to the Rockets, the Utah Jazz can’t wait to get back on the court.

They’ll do so tonight against the New Orleans Hornets (15-30), a team that’s won eight of its last 13 games.

So, while the Jazz (24-21) are anxious to get back on the floor and finally put the Houston debacle behind them, the Hornets are by no means pushovers.

“We need a huge bounce-back,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “Everybody was disappointed with the way we performed the other night, especially on our home floor. Enough talking about it, now we have to do it. We have to be aggressive on both ends, right from the beginning of the game.”

New Orleans is coming off a tight road loss to the L.A. Lakers on Tuesday. The Hornets arrived early Monday morning and did not have a shootaround at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Lakers led by 18 midway through the fourth quarter but the Hornets came buzzing back with a 16-2 run, cutting L.A.’s lead to 102-101 with two minutes remaining.

“You can’t think about that, you can’t think that’ll effect them,” Corbin said. “They’re young guys, too. It helps because they’re young guys, they recover faster. Looking at the game last night, they did a great job. Everybody thought they were out and they showed who they are.”

The Hornets will be without guard Eric Gordon (sore right knee), who is averaging 17.4 points per game. The Jazz, however, will go without swingman Gordon Hayward (sprained right shoulder), who is averaging 13.5 points per game off the bench.

New Orleans is averaging 93.5 points per game overall, but 96.3 while playing on the road.

The Jazz are averaging 98.1 points per game, but allowing 99.3.

Four of the Hornets’ starters are averaging in double figures, including 6-foot-6 point guard Greivis Vasquez, who averages 13.8 points and 9.3 assists a game.

Ryan Anderson comes off the bench averaging 17 points and 6.7 rebounds.

For the Jazz, Al Jefferson is their leading scorer, averaging 17 points and 9.6 rebounds. Louisiana native Paul Millsap averages 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds.

The Jazz will struggle to guard Vasquez, who creates a physical mismatch.

Corbin said he expects to use several players to guard him.

“He’s been playing very well all year for them,” he said. “Because of his size he can post a little bit with (opposing) point guards. He can get to the spot where he wants to get on the floor because he can bump guys off with his body. He can score because he can shoot and drive.”

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About Jim Burton

Jim Burton has worked for the Standard-Examiner since 1991. He has covered everything from the preps to Utah, BYU, Weber State and the Ogden Raptors. Currently he is the Standard's Utah Jazz beatwriter and its sports columnist.
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