Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 1/7

Game 1: Wednesday, January 7th
Game 2: Saturday, February 21st
Game 3: Sunday, April 5th

Hornets 88

(32-22, 13-13 away)

Jazz 102

(33-23, 24-6 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    9:00 PM ET, February 21, 2009

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 21 30 25 1288
    UTAH 28 33 23 18102

    Top Performers

    NO: C. Paul 24 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    UTAH: M. Okur 25 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk

    Hornets-Jazz Preview


    Under the ownership of Larry Miller, the Utah Jazz have been one of the NBA's most stable teams over the past two decades.

    A day after his death, the Jazz take the court Saturday night against the New Orleans Hornets seeking their fourth straight win overall and seventh in a row at home.

    Miller bought a 50 percent share of the Jazz (32-23) in 1985 when the franchise was on the verge of moving to Miami, and took full ownership of the team a year later. He watched as Utah reached the NBA finals in 1997 and 1998 and then helped the team rebuild after its streak of 20 straight playoff appearances ended in 2004, bringing in the current nucleus of Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Deron Williams.

    Miller, who was 64, died of complications from type 2 diabetes. His wife said she was able to tell him about the Jazz's most recent win -- a 90-85 victory over the defending champion Celtics on Thursday.

    Utah said it will observe a moment of silence before Saturday's game.

    "This is a sad day for me, our team, the fans of the Utah Jazz and the NBA," Williams said. "Mr. Miller was a terrific man and friend. He changed the lives of thousands of people. We have all been blessed by his generosity and love for this community, and I am blessed to call him my friend. He gave us a lot of joy and we will miss him."

    Miller's death could bring added motivation for the Jazz, who hold a half-game lead over Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Utah, which has won six of seven, is coming off two of its biggest wins of the season -- a four-point victory over the Lakers before the All-Star break and Thursday's win over the Celtics.

    "It's our second statement win," said Williams, who had 18 points and 10 assists against Boston. "Both of these wins have been huge for our confidence. This was a grind it out defensive game tonight, and we battled with them all night. It's a great win for our team."

    The win improved Utah to 23-6 at home -- the fifth-best home record in the NBA. The Jazz have held opponents to 90 or fewer points in four of their last six home games.

    New Orleans (32-21) is very familiar with how difficult it is to play in Salt Lake City. The Hornets have lost five straight there, averaging 83.0 points in those games while getting outscored by an average of 22 points during that stretch.

    Utah won the most recent meeting at EnergySolutions Arena, 116-90 on Jan. 7.

    The Hornets will looking to bounce back from a 115-111 overtime loss to the Lakers on Friday. New Orleans had won four of its previous six, holding opponents to 91.0 points.

    Rasual Butler led the Hornets with a season-high 31 points but New Orleans was outscored 32-15 at the free throw line and had to play without star guard Chris Paul for the final 1:32 of overtime after he fouled out for the first time in a regular season game.

    Tyson Chandler was on the bench after returning to the Hornets following the reversal of his trade to Oklahoma City because of a failed physical. He hasn't played since Jan. 19 because of a left ankle injury, although the reason the Thunder gave was because of a supposed toe injury.

    "I laughed when I heard the reason," the Hornets' leading rebounder said. "It was very surprising to me, because I haven't missed a game because of the toe since I had my surgery on it. It hasn't caused me any problems, and I don't think it's going to cause me any problems in the future."

    It's not known when Chandler will return, but the Hornets could use his inside presence. They gave up 50 points in the paint to the Lakers and surrendered 52 to the Jazz in January.

    New Orleans' last win in Salt Lake City was a 100-95 victory on Feb. 25, 2006.