NBA Game Summary - Utah at New Orleans
(Friday, April 13th)
Final Score: New Orleans 96, Utah 85
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Eric Gordon had 25 points and six assists on Friday and the Hornets downed the playoff-hopeful Jazz, 96-85.
With the loss Utah fell to 10th in the Western Conference standings, a half- game behind the Suns and 1 1/2 games behind the Rockets and Nuggets, who are tied for seventh.
Chris Kaman added 19 points for New Orleans, which has won four of its last six games.
Paul Millsap finished with 27 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz and Al Jefferson scored 19 in the setback.
"This is a big loss for us tonight," said Millsap. "This was a game we needed and one we were supposed to win."
New Orleans, and Gordon in particular, excelled late to take control of a back-and-forth contest.
The Jazz were up 82-81 with just over five minutes remaining when the Hornets scored 13 straight. Gordon accounted for the final eight points of the run. He began with a three-point play, followed with a trey and capped it with a 24- foot jumper for a 94-82 lead with two minutes to play.
Utah failed to threaten the rest of the way.
"I love those situations," said Gordon. "That's what I'm here for, to help the team win, and that's what I try to do. I'm looking forward to the rest of these games this season and see what can happen for me being here in the future."
The game was generally a tight affair barring Gordon's late dominance. It was 28-24 in favor of the Jazz after one and tied at the half. Kaman's 10 points in the third had the Hornets up 73-70 entering the fourth.
Earlier Friday, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson bought the Hornets from the NBA... Smith had a career-high four assists to go with eight points and eight rebounds...Gordon's six assists tied a season-high...The game featured 13 ties and 17 lead changes.
04/14 01:37:16 ET