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  • The New Orleans Hornets will be without leading scorer Eric Gordon tonight. Gordon, who scored 25 points in a 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last night, is out because of a sore right knee. Roger Mason Jr. will start in Gordon’s place. New Orleans coach Monty Williams said he isn’t sure how much time Gordon is going to miss. “I don’t know how long it’s going to last,” Williams said. “I wish it was over. As a coach you want all your guys available, but everybody is dealing with that. It happens. We want to make sure we do everything medically right in Eric’s situation.”
  • The Utah Jazz are also without a key player as reserve guard Gordon Hayward will miss his second straight game tonight. Hayward is still recovering from a right shoulder sprain suffered against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. He is the team’s third-leading scorer, averaging a career-high 13.5 points per game. Like Williams with Gordon, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said Utah will take a cautious approach with Hayward. “Gordon is a key part of how we play,” Corbin said. “It’s been tough, but we’ll make the adjustments tonight. I’m hoping he can get back as soon as he can, but we want to be smart. We don’t want to get him back and get him hurt again. We want to make sure he’s well when he gets back. We want him to be healthy the rest of the year for us. As bad as I want him back in the lineup, we have to the do the smart thing, the right thing, by him.”
  • The Jazz are hoping to rebound after a humiliating 45-point loss to the Houston Rockets, the worst home defeat in franchise history, on Monday night. They’ve dealt with the embarrassment for close to 48 hours now and are ready to play again. “We need a huge bounce back,” Corbin said. “Everybody was disappointed with the way we performed the other night, especially on our home floor. Enough talking about it. Now we have to go out and do it and we have to be aggressive on both ends.”
  • The Hornets are playing the second game of a back-to-back set after losing to the Lakers in a late contest last night. Williams said fatigue won’t be a factor for his team tonight. “We’re the second-youngest team in the league,” Williams said. “I didn’t get tired until I turned 40. My wife thinks I never get tired. We don’t talk about tired. We have no excuses, no explanations. We need to get it done.”
  • The Jazz will be paying close attention to New Orleans guard Greivis Vasquez tonight. They’ve already seen him make some big plays against them this season, and Corbin expects him to be a big part of the Hornets’ game plan with Gordon sidelined tonight. Vasquez has averaged 15.5 points and nine assists in two games against the Jazz this season and hit the game-winning shot in an 88-86 New Orleans victory on Nov. 2. “He’s been playing very well all year for them,” Corbin said. “Because of his size, he can post a little bit on point guards. He can score. He can shoot and drive. I know we’re taking notice of how he’s playing.”

Andrew Aragon

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