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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)

Utah Jazz (7-22) at Charlotte Bobcats (13-14), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Bobcats will try to get to .500 on the season Saturday night when they start a three-game homestand against the Utah Jazz.

The Bobcats just swept a two-game road swing and have won three in a row. They host the Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder on this homestand, spanning the holidays.

Charlotte's most recent victory came Friday with a 116-106 road win over the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Bobcats trailed by 20 in the second quarter, but rallied for the win.

Kemba Walker dropped a season-high 34 points, shot 12-of-17 from the floor and made all nine of his free throw attempts as Charlotte won its third straight tilt on the heels of a three-game losing skid.

Al Jefferson added 24 points -- 15 of which came in the fourth quarter -- and 14 rebounds in the victory, and Gerald Henderson poured in 22 with eight boards.

"It was our defense early in the fourth," said Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford. "Then Al, late, was terrific."

The Bobcats, who trailed by 14 at the start of the fourth, outscored the Pistons, 41-17 over the final 12 minutes.

Jeff Taylor, starting in place of an injured Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, left the contest in the first minute with a right Achilles injury and did not return. The team announced he will undergo further testing on Saturday to determine the extent of the injury, so he will not be in the lineup against the Jazz.

Utah is hitting the stretch run of a five-game road trip, where the Jazz are now 1-2.

On Friday, the Jazz got clobbered by the Atlanta Hawks, 118-85, one game after a solid win over the Orlando Magic.

"Just low energy all night long. I thought that we didn't come out with the sense of urgency that we have been seeing," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "I thought we turned the corner, and like the way we played in Orlando the other night. I was looking for that kind of effort, but we just didn't have from the beginning of the game tonight."

Enes Kanter had 13 points and 13 rebounds, Alec Burks finished with 13 points and Gordon Hayward donated 11 for the Jazz, losers in three of their last four. Jeremy Evans was the only other Utah player in double figures with 10.

The Jazz starting frontline of Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors combined for 20 points on 8-for-18 shooting. Rookie point guard Trey Burke had a rookie performance with two points in 20:27 of action.

The Jazz have won eight straight against the Bobcats, including four in a row in Charlotte.

12/21 10:58:30 ET

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