27 January 2007
Stop all that Jazz
The Hornets weren't supposed to beat the Jazz: Utah was 29-15 and owned a five-game lead over the Nuggets in the Northwest. But the Bees came out buzzing, scoring first and winning the first quarter 27-18. By comparison, the second was sleepy; it was Hornets 41, Jazz 34 at the half. For once, it was the visitors who suffered the Third-Quarter Drought, with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan drawing a technical. But Utah simply couldn't put points on the board: they'd averaged over 100 for the whole season, but never once tonight did they get the lead, and the Hornets pocketed a big win, 94-83, acknowledged by the Ford Center crowd with a standing ovation in the final seconds.
Well, okay, Deron Williams could put points on the board: his 27 took game-high honors. And rookie forward Paul Millsap put together a double-double, with 15 points and 17 rebounds. But the Jazz shot only 37.5 percent for the night, and hit only one of 14 treys. Would things have been different if Carlos Boozer had made it through the game without screwing up his knee? Maybe.
The Hornets' bench put up 35 points, 21 of which came from Bobby Jackson, including three treys (out of three) and eight free throws (out of eight). Desmond Mason dropped in 20; David West, who had an off-night last night, was back in double figures with 11. And Tyson Chandler had 15 of the Hornets' 40 boards and blocked seven shots.
Monday and Wednesday, we'll see the 'Blazers and the 76ers. We owe them both.