Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 2/22

Game 1: Wednesday, February 22nd
Jazz82Final
Hornets76
Game 2: Saturday, February 25th
Hornets100Final
Jazz95
Game 3: Monday, March 27th
Hornets80Final
Jazz104
Game 4: Friday, April 14th
Jazz105Final
Hornets104

Hornets 80

(32-37, 12-22 away)

Jazz 104

(33-37, 18-18 home)

Coverage: COX

7:00 PM ET, March 27, 2006

EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

1 2 3 4 T
NO 31 21 16 1280
UTAH 27 28 29 20104

Top Performers

NO/Oklahoma City : R. Butler 15 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Stl

Utah: D. Williams 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast

Williams has 20 points, five assists in win over Hornets

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Now that the two-game losing streak is over, the Utah Jazz need to put together a winning streak if they are going to make a run at the playoffs.

The Jazz passed New Orleans for ninth place in the Western Conference standings and moved within two games of the final playoff spot by beating the weary and slumping Hornets 104-80 Monday night.

"We can be good. But consistency has been our problem all year -- putting a stretch of games together. That's what we've got to do right now," said Deron Williams, who had 20 points and five assists.

All five Utah starters scored in double figures and the Jazz pulled away with a 14-0 run in the third quarter while improving to 33-37 -- passing the Hornets (32-37). Both teams still trail Sacramento (35-35) for the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.

Matt Harpring had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Utah, which shot 56 percent (37-for-66) from the floor and outrebounded the Hornets 45-23.

Carlos Boozer had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz, who visit Denver, the Clippers and Portland this week.

The Jazz had a chance to gain a game on the Kings on Saturday but lost 91-89. Sacramento returned the favor by losing to Golden State 90-83 on Sunday.

"Now we're in the ninth spot," Boozer said. "We've just got to take care of ourselves and hopefully we'll get in there."

Andrei Kirilenko finished with 13 points, eight assists, five blocks and six rebounds.

The Hornets lost for the 12th time in 13 games and fell to 0-3 on a trip that wraps up Wednesday at Golden State.

Rasual Butler led the Hornets with 15 points.

New Orleans was coming off a 105-94 loss Sunday at the Lakers and leading scorer David West wasn't with the team on Monday because of a sprained left ankle. The Hornets could have used him, especially in the second half as they scored just 28 points.

"There are lots of guys in that locker room that just quit," coach Byron Scott said. "It's disappointing to me. They won't be here. It's as simple as that."

Speedy Claxton scored 13 for the Hornets in the first half, then was shut out in the final two periods. New Orleans led by six in the second quarter before Utah took over the lead for good just before halftime.

"The intensity level is getting tougher because teams are fighting for the playoffs," Scott said. "And we haven't gotten that message yet."

It was the third meeting between Williams and Hornets point guard Chris Paul this season. The Jazz selected Williams over Paul with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft last summer. Williams outscored his fellow rookie 20-11, although Paul did have two more assists.

Paul got the Hornets within 62-58 in the third quarter on a dunk after a steal, then it was all Jazz.

"We caught a team that was tired. They had a tough game last night and you could see the effects," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We were able to get the ball inside against some of the mismatches we had."

Harpring started a 14-0 run by putting back a rebound, then after Boozer went 1-for-2 from the line, Williams -- not to be outdone by Paul -- took a steal in for a one-handed dunk.

Harpring added a jumper from the corner and Mehmet Okur made a shot from just inside the 3-point line to put the Jazz up 72-60. New Orleans called timeout but turned the ball over again, then Boozer hit a shot and Kirilenko followed with a two-handed dunk off a pass from Williams.

The Jazz led 84-68 at the end of the third, outscoring New Orleans 29-16 and outrebounding the Hornets 13-6 in the period.

"I think we kind of broke them in the third quarter," Kirilenko said.

Utah continued to pull away in the fourth. Kirilenko found Williams alone for a 3-pointer with 9:48 left and Okur followed that with a long jumper and a dunk to put Utah ahead 92-72.

Game notes


Kirk Snyder, a rookie with Utah last season, and P.J. Brown each scored 10 for the Hornets. ... Kirilenko made up for leaving the ball behind when he broke for the basket by getting back on defense in time to swat away a layup by Paul. ... Utah used all 12 players and all by C.J. Miles and Greg Ostertag played for the first time since March 14, didn't score.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NO
UTAH
Points 80 104
FGM-FGA 30-73 (.411) 37-66 (.561)
3PM-3PA 5-15 (.333) 4-11 (.364)
FTM-FTA 15-26 (.577) 26-40 (.650)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-23 13-45
Assists 17 22
Turnovers 12 17
Steals 8 2
Blocks 3 7
Fast Break Points 4 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (2/0) 25 (1/0)
Largest Lead 6 26

Top Performers

No/oklahoma City
Utah
Rasual Butler Butler
Points: 15
Reb: 2
Ast: 0
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Deron Williams Williams
Points: 20
Reb: 6
Ast: 5
Stl: 0
Blk: 0