Hornets 92, Jazz 85
/4/2005, 10:53 p.m. CT
By BRETT MARTEL
The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Â Chris Andersen had his second straight double-double, and the lowly New Orleans Hornets also doubled up with a rare two-game winning streak.
With guard Dan Dickau failing to score in double digits for the first time in 22 games, Andersen had 12 points and 11 rebounds in a reserve role to help New Orleans control the inside play in a 92-85 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
"We should go on a nice little streak here," said the flamboyant Andersen, who's known as "Birdman" and is a crowd favorite. "We need to take a stand for ourselves ... everybody going to the glass."
J.R. Smith and P.J. Brown each scored 14 points as New Orleans snapped Utah's three-game winning streak. Jackson Vroman, so active under the basket he seemed to be flailing around at times, scored a career-high 12 points and had nine rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Lee Nailon also had 12 points for New Orleans.
"They were tougher than we were," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "They just waxed us out on the floor. You have to give them credit for being able to push us around. They went after loose balls a lot harder than we did. And we did a poor job of trying to block them out. They seemed to be a little hungrier."
Andrei Kirilenko led Utah with 21 points. Raja Bell added 19 points, but only four in the second half. Matt Harpring scored 18 points, and Curtis Borchardt finished with 11 rebounds.
Kirilenko had two late putbacks in an 11-3 run in the fourth quarter that cut Utah's 13-point deficit to five with 2:27 left.
But Utah could get no closer, despite poor free-throw shooting by the Hornets, who missed four late free throw tries to finish 24-for-37 from the foul line.
Utah, relying heavily on jump shots, was outscored 46-30 inside and shot just 33.7 percent from the field, with several long-range misses in the last two minutes. New Orleans shot 45.2 percent.
Rookies Vroman and Smith helped the Hornets stretch their lead to 12 in the third quarter. Vroman scored on a strong inside move and was fouled by Kirilenko. He later grabbed and errant floater by Smith and dunked it in one motion.
Smith also made a tough driving floater as he fell over the baseline, added a pair of free throws and scored on a driving layup.
"They bring a lot of energy and we need that. We need guys who can be up tempo and get the crowd into it ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Â get everybody excited," Brown said. "Guys are making a conscious effort inside to go in, jump and go for dunks or go for rebounds."
Casey Jacobsen's driving basket made it 68-56. Then early in the fourth quarter, Jacobsen, who finished with 11 points, added a pair of free throws to give New Orleans its largest lead at 76-62.
The Hornets led by 12 with 4:10 left, then Utah started its late run.
Dickau all but sealed the outcome with a runner with 19 seconds remaining to make it 90-82.
New Orleans, which led 47-42 at the break, got points from 11 players.
"We didn't play good defense and we let New Orleans take a lot of layups," Kirilenko said. "They played like a real team. You take a look at the stats. I don't think anybody scored over 15 points, six or seven guys in double figures. They really helped each other and played the kind of basketball that ... you should play."
Notes:@ The Hornets missed their last seven free throws of the first half, finishing the half 7-for-14 from the foul line. ... Kirilenko shot 9-for-10 from the line for the half. ... New Orleans native and former LSU star Randy Livingston, who recently signed a 10-day contract with the Jazz, entered the game in the second quarter. He had two points. ... Dickau finished with four points.
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