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Final score: New Orleans Hornets 96, Utah Jazz 85

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Utah Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) battles for a loose ball with New Orleans Hornets small forward Al-Farouq Aminu (0) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

By Brian T. Smith

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Apr 13 2012 05:51PM
Updated Apr 14, 2012 12:47PM

New Orleans • Eric Gordon’s team-high 25 points led the Hornets to a 96-85 victory against the Jazz on Friday at New Orleans Arena.

Paul Millsap’s game-high 27 points topped Utah (31-29).

QUARTER-BY-QUARTER ANALYSIS

The First: Jazz 28, Hornets 24

New Orleans hits six of its initial seven shots, opening a 15-8 lead. Paul Millsap scores eight points in six minutes, though, and Utah pulls within 16-14. Millsap finishes with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

The Second: Jazz 47, Hornets 47

Utah’s second unit holds ground, trading baskets and stops with New Orleans’ reserves. A 3-pointer by Gordon Hayward makes it 40-36 Jazz. Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Gordon keep the Hornets close.

The Third: Hornets 73, Jazz 70

New Orleans kicks up the tempo and finds an edge. Gordon’s a difference-maker, and the Hornets jump ahead 66-60 after Greivis Vasquez drills a 3. But Millsap keeps roaring, hitting 25 points.

The Fourth: Hornets 96, Jazz 85

New Orleans gets in early foul trouble and is assessed two technical fouls as the game tightens. The Jazz’s second unit digs in, but a three-point play by Gordon makes it 89-82 Hornets with 3:49 to go.

Jazz-Hornets box score

Western Conference playoff standings

Twitter: @tribjazz

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