Hornets, Jazz try to draw even

NEW ORLEANS, April 28 (UPI) -- The New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz try to even their respective NBA playoff series Monday night.

Both teams got boosts from unlikely sources in their last outings.


New Orleans got a lift from little-used forward Jerome Moiso on Saturday. He had 10 points and five rebounds in the final period of a 99-95 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Hornets, who lost the first two games of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series in Philadelphia, host Game Four on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Jazz continue their Western Conference series when they host the Sacramento Kings. The home team also won the first three games of this series.

Utah center Greg Ostertag scored a playoff career-high 22 points, and also had 12 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Jazz to a 107-104 win Saturday at the Delta Center.

Ostertag surpassed his previous playoff career high of 18 points, which he set in Game One.

Moiso's effort helped soften the blow of not having All-Star forward Jamal Mashburn, who sat out with a dislocated finger and is not expected to play on Monday.

"As long as he continues to do what he does, we will do well," said New Orleans guard Baron Davis of Moiso, his college teammate at UCLA.


Davis said he was playing at only 70 percent because of a knee injury, but he was healthy enough to score 28 points on Saturday, including 15 in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia Coach Larry Brown was critical of his club's performance in their Game Two win, pointing out problems in effort and defensive intensity. He saw Saturday's loss as a missed opportunity, putting even more importance on Monday's affair.

"This game is huge," Brown said. "Why shouldn't it be? It's a playoff game."

The Jazz used their physical style against the Kings, who grew frustrated with the officiating.

"It's ridiculous," said Sacramento guard Bobby Jackson. "I'd rather have high school refs than NBA refs."

Ostertag had more points, rebounds, and blocks than the combined total of the three Sacramento centers -- Vlade Divac, Scot Pollard, and Keon Clark.

Karl Malone had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Calbert Cheaney scored 14 of his 15 points in the first half for Utah.

Mike Bibby scored 23 points and Chris Webber had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento after being questionable for the game with a sore lower back.


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