Chris Kaman came up big for the New Orleans Hornets as they upset the Utah Jazz 86-80 on Monday. The Jazz were hoping to take two wins on their trip down the Mississippi River, but once they hit the mouth of the river—the Hornets hit them in the mouth to end an eight-game losing streak.
The Hornets timed their win right, as they head on a six-game road trip next.
Kaman's performance was the key to victory for the Hornets. He put up 27 points on 12-of-22 shooting to go with 13 rebounds and three steals. Kaman's steal, point and rebound figures for the night were season highs. Also, he shot better than 50 percent from the field for the first time since January 9 against the Denver Nuggets.
In the third quarter, the Hornets went on an 18-0 run to take a 63-42 run—essentially sealing the win.
The Jazz rallied in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. Utah came up with a 26-15 run to come within four with 2:26 left in the game, and pulled within three with less than a minute left. However, desperation fouls did the Jazz no favors as Kaman and Trevor Ariza hit shots at the line when they counted.
The Hornets needed just that one run in the third quarter to tally enough scoring for the win. In the other three quarters, the Hornets put up 20, 21 and 20 points. New Orleans shot 42 percent from the field. Gustavo Ayon, Marco Belinelli and Greivis Vasquez joined Kaman in scoring in double figures.
Vasquez notched his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 assists, while Jarrett Jack remains out with a sore left knee.
The Hornets' eight-game losing streak entering the game was their third of six games or more.
The Hornets pulled off a rare win at just the right time. Next, the Hornets will go on a six-game road trip that spans two weeks. Highlights of the road trip include a confrontation with the New York Knicks and the delirium surrounding Jeremy Lin, a third shot of the season at the Oklahoma City Thunder and a match with the injury-riddled Chicago Bulls.
Kaman and the Hornets will have to savor this victory. Wins have been hard to find for the woe-be-gone Hornets (5-23). Kaman might have played his last game at the New Orleans Arena, considering the Hornets are looking to trade him.