NEW ORLEANS — The Utah Jazz did it again.
Played inconsistently, made-you-scratch-your-head and lost to a vastly inferior and undermanned team?
A night after looking like a sure-bet playoff team in a 10-point win at Memphis, the Jazz looked as awkward and out of sorts as a couple of missionaries on Bourbon Street.
And, yes, they did that against a four-win team.
Scratch that. The New Orleans Hornets improved to a lofty 5-23 with an 86-80 win over the terrific-one-night-terrible-the-next Jazz.
Because of injuries, the Hornets were without key players like Eric Gordon and Emeka Okafor.
But they had Chris Kaman, who scored 27 points. They also had somebody named Gustavo Ayon and Marco Belinelli, who each contributed 13 points as New Orleans snapped an eight-game losing streak.
The Junior Jazz and Gordon Hayward made it interesting in the fourth quarter.
After falling behind by as many as 20 points with a completely inept night by most of the main Jazz players, the mix-and-match crew rallied to within three points with 21.6 seconds remaining.
But Kaman hit a pair of key free throws to help New Orleans pick up a win after losing 23 of its previous 25 games.
Al Jefferson led Utah with 14 points and 12 rebounds, but the Jazz only had 36 points at halftime and 51 through three quarters before posting a failed comeback.
It gets a whole lot more difficult Wednesday, when the Jazz wrap up their back-to-back-to-back against one of the NBA's best in Oklahoma City.
Half time Quick Take
NEW ORLEANS — The Utah Jazz are at it again.
Playing inconsistently, make-you-scratch-your-head, trailing to a vastly inferior and undermanned team?
A night after looking like a sure-bet playoff team in a 10-point win at Memphis, the Jazz are looking as awkward and out of sorts as a couple of missionaries on Bourbon Street.
Halfway through this one, Utah trails four-win New Orleans 41-36.
Chris Kaman and Marco Belinelli each have 10 points for the Hornets (4-23), who only have nine players available for this game because of injuries.
Raja Bell leads the Jazz (14-12) with 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and Al Jefferson has 10 points.
Other than that, though, the Utah offense has been nonexistent. The Jazz are shooting 39 percent against a New Orleans defense that has been effecitvely using zone to befuddle the visitors.
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