Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 1/4

Game 1: Monday, January 4th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 17th
Game 3: Saturday, March 20th
Game 4: Friday, April 9th

Jazz 114

(52-28, 20-20 away)

Hornets 103

(35-45, 23-17 home)

    Coverage: COX

    8:00 PM ET, April 9, 2010

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 32 28 29 25114
    NO 30 25 20 28103

    Top Performers

    UTAH: D. Williams 27 Pts, 4 Reb, 16 Ast, 4 Stl

    NO: D. Collison 28 Pts, 3 Reb, 7 Ast

    Jazz-Hornets Preview


    The Utah Jazz are coming off a much-needed break. It remains to be seen if it was long enough for Mehmet Okur to feel healthy enough to play again.

    With their starting center's status in question, the Jazz continue to jockey for playoff position as they visit the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

    A grueling season is winding down and a quick turnaround didn't seem to do much for Utah's energy level in a 113-96 loss to Houston on Wednesday night. The Jazz (51-28) appeared sluggish after beating Oklahoma City 140-139 in overtime the previous evening.

    Utah didn't arrive in Houston until 4 a.m.

    "It was a tough loss, and we can't hang our heads," point guard Deron Williams told the Jazz's official Web site.

    Utah was in second place in the Western Conference entering its contest with the Rockets, but has since fallen to the bottom of a four-team race for that spot.

    After a short break, the Jazz are finishing up the season with three games in six days. Though the Jazz could use Okur (Achilles') as they try to move up in the conference, they may decide to play it safe with the veteran big man, allowing him to rest before the playoffs start.

    Okur left in the third quarter versus Houston and did not return. He is averaging 13.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.

    If Okur can't play, forward Paul Millsap will likely get the starting nod with Carlos Boozer moving to center. Millsap is averaging 11.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and a career-best 1.2 blocks.

    Boozer and the rest of Utah's starters got some extra rest after being benched in the fourth quarter Wednesday.

    "I expect a lot from our guys every game," coach Jerry Sloan said. "If the energy is not there, it just isn't there."

    Williams started 1 for 5 from the field and had six of the Jazz's 26 turnovers, which matched a season high. He scored a career-high 42 points versus the Thunder.

    Williams shot 73.7 percent (14 for 19) in his last two games at New Orleans. He won't have to match up with Chris Paul, who will miss the rest of the season due to a ligament tear in the middle finger of his right hand.

    New Orleans (35-44) announced Paul's status prior to a 104-103 loss to Charlotte on Wednesday night.

    Paul played in seven games after missing two months due to the injury, but aggravated it during practice Tuesday.

    "It has been a very difficult season for me in terms of injuries," he said. "I hate not being out on the court helping my team, but the best thing for me to do is to get completely healthy. I am hopeful to be back playing basketball by June."

    Impressive rookie Darren Collison has again replaced Paul in the starting lineup. He had 24 points Wednesday and is averaging 18.4 in 34 games as a starter.

    Collison averaged 21.5 points in his last two games against the Jazz, who lead the season series 2-1.