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01/09/2013 10:38 PM EST
Jefferson scores 26 as Jazz defeat Bobcats 112-102
UTAH 112, CHARLOTTE 102
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Utah coach Tyrone Corbin preached to his
team before the game not to take the Charlotte Bobcats for
Apparently his team listened.
Al Jefferson had 26 points and eight rebounds, and the Jazz
posted a wire-to-wire 112-102 victory Wednesday night over the
Bobcats for their fourth win in five games.
Jefferson was 11 of 15 from the field and the Bobcats simply had
no answer for the 6-foot-10 center in the paint.
Paul Millsap chipped in with 19 points and Gordon Hayward was 4
of 5 from 3-point range for 14 points as the Jazz made light
work of the Bobcats' zone defense, shooting 54 percent from the
"They tried to double-team me and Paul got off," Jefferson said.
"They start worrying about Paul, I got off. They start worrying
about both of us, Gordon and (DeMarre Carroll) and all those
guys start hitting big shots. It just all worked out."
Utah led from the opening tip, building a 19-point halftime
lead. The Jazz (19-18) never allowed the Bobcats to get any
closer than 10 in the second half and moved back above .500.
"We wanted to make sure that we didn't come out and take these
guys for granted," Corbin said. "They play hard and they played
hard for an entire 48 minutes. They can make shots and attack
the basket hard."
Ben Gordon led six Bobcats in double figures, scoring 20 points.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 15 points and eight rebounds, while
Gerald Henderson, Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker each had 14
points for the Bobcats (9-25).
The Bobcats came in feeling confident, having won two of three
since their 18-game losing streak. But once again they struggled
coming out of the blocks.
The Jazz outscored the Bobcats 29-11 in the final six minutes of
the first half to take a 19-point lead into the locker room.
They did it with five 3-pointers - two each by Randy Foye and
Hayward - during one 4 1/2-minute span.
"When we tried to cover them straight up that wasn't the answer
and when we tried to double them they abused us from the
outside," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said.
Alex Burks chipped in with 14 points and DeMarre Carroll and
Derrick Favors each had 10 for the Jazz. Favors hit all five
shots from the field.
"I thought we did a much better job defensively and that led us
to some easy buckets," Hayward said. "We were obviously going
through Paul and Al. They carried us again. We thought we had a
little bit of an advantage inside and so we kind of used them.
When they were double teamed, they kicked out and we were able
to knock down some shots."
Jamaal Tinsley had nine points and eight assists to go along
with his two steals for Utah.
"I think as long as we share the ball like we do, like tonight
we give ourselves a chance to play like we did tonight," Tinsley
said. "If we share the ball, no matter who scores, you know,
everybody gets involved. Everybody makes shots. The biggest
thing was we got stops tonight."
Whenever Charlotte tried to make a run, the Jazz had a quick
Most of the time that meant getting the ball down low to
Jefferson, Millsap and Favors, who had little problem scoring
against Charlotte's big men Brendan Haywood and Bismack Biyombo.
Together that trio was a combined 24 of 30 from the field.
"I thought we got the ball inside and we attacked the basket,"
Corbin said. "I thought Al and Paul went to the basket hard but
the passes they made to their teammates when they got double
teamed gave guys good looks."
The Jazz were 10 of 22 from 3-point range.
Jefferson had all his points in the first three quarters and
didn't play much down the stretch as the Jazz didn't
particularly need his services with the game mostly out of hand.
The Bobcats have surrendered at least 100 points in 16 of their
last 19 games.
"We have to pick up our defense," Henderson said. "We scored
enough, but we gave up too many points to win. It's tough to try
to come back on a team like that when you're down early by so
Two Charlotte starters - Biyombo and Tyrus Thomas - did not
score, and rookie Jeffery Taylor only managed six points.
Charlotte's bench outscored its starters 67-35.
Despite those numbers Dunlap doesn't seem ready to change to the
starting lineup since it's what worked in a 108-101 overtime win
at Detroit on Sunday.
"I like the lineup that we had starting out against Detroit and
I tried to stay with that tonight," Dunlap said.
NOTES: The Bobcats continue to be without center Byron Mullens,
who remains out with an ankle injury. ... Millsap scored in
double figures for the fourth straight game and the 25th time
this season. ... Jefferson topped 20 points for the tenth time
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