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Utah Jazz's Raja Bell says 'wheels fell off' in defeat to Hornets

New Orleans — Official postgame quotes following the Jazz's 86-80 loss to the Hornets on Monday.

Jazz Head Coach Tyrone Corbin:

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On if the game was a letdown: "Absolutely, it was everything I thought it wouldn’t be. We came out flat from the beginning of the ballgame and we turned the ball over the first three possessions of the game. We were relaxed. You have to give them credit. They played harder than we did. They made shots. We didn’t do that. We can’t afford to do that. We had a great win last night. We took a step back tonight."

On how perplexing tonight’s loss is after last night: "It is disappointing in the way we came out and played. We know the importance of trying to win this game. We can’t do that especially on the road. There is no excuse. We need to come out and play."

Jazz guard Devin Harris:

On the game: "The zone has given us trouble all year long. We had some good shots, we just didn’t make them. We have to put it behind us. There’s not much we can do about it now. We just have to come out with a better effort tomorrow."

Jazz guard Raja Bell:

On the game: "Not Good. I thought we came out and played pretty well early. Surprisingly, it fell apart on us. I can’t really put it into words. I know we turned the ball over. Their pesky zone popped up and threw us for a loop, as it always does. Other than that, they played hard. They were obviously playing harder than we were for a while, but again, I think earlier in the game when we came out, we were playing pretty hard. I thought we had a nice thing going. I don’t know where the wheels fell off, but they did."

Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams:

(On the win)

"Our guys have continued to fight and they do it for each other; they do it for the fans. I just think they are a unit that has been through a lot and we will not use any of that as an excuse. If you would have told us that Emeka (Okafor) would be out tonight, along with Jarrett (Jack) and Jason (Smith); all the guys that we had out, I think this point of effort from guys like Lance (Thomas) and Donald Sloan. Chris Kaman was really huge tonight; his scoring, his rebounding, his leadership, and talking in the huddles. I’ve never seen him do that. It does feel good."

(On the fourth quarter)

"I thought the third quarter gave us a bit of a buffer. We did not play great defense in the fourth; we gave up 29 points. We had such a buffer that we could withstand their run and that helped us out a little bit. And, we made some shots down the stretch. We did not score a ton of points, but I think we got the stops we needed. In the third quarter, we had 11 consecutive stops. That broke a record for us. I thought that was a key for us. We had to do it by committee tonight, but Kaman helping down the stretch and getting big rebounds helped us."

(On who else helped out for the win)

"Obviously, Trevor (Ariza). The way he was able to play minutes, guard, and score a little bit. That’s a sign of growth. Most guys who play seven or eight years in the league know who they are and I’ve watched him grow and continue to try to become a better leader. He’s learned some things since he’s been here. Off the top of my head, Al-Farouq’s (Aminu) dunk (helped us). I’ve been knowing him all year; the gifts that God has given him and ran the ball. He finally exploded tonight. I saw him show some emotion and I had to check his wrist to make sure his pulse was still going, because he is so laid back and to see him jump like that, I told him he set the bar tonight and I want to see him attack the basket from here on out."

Hornets Center Chris Kaman:

(On his play)

I haven’t played these minutes all year. We have a lot of guys injured, and I’m just trying to fill in and do what I can do."

(On the approach in the 4th quarter)

Obviously we were up by a pretty good amount. We didn’t try to let them back in it, but they are a good team and well coached. They dug in and we made some bone head plays, including myself, but it came down to the end and we got our stops, made our free throws, and got a W."

Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez:

(On the win)

It was good. Thank God we got this win. It was important for us because every day we got fewer bodies in here. Every time we go to shoot around or practice you look around and we have eight or nine guys. It’s tough, but the good thing about this situation is that we are keeping everything together. Coach Monty is a great coach, not only a great coach, but a great person because he keeps everybody together. Great coaches and great leaders do that and he’s doing a great job leading this team. We have a lot of young guys and two guys who barely speak English, so it’s tough."

(On the play of Gustavo Ayon)

"He’s been unbelievable. I think he cares so much. What I like about him is how professional he is and how he approaches this situation. We all know here that this is our opportunity. Playing in the NBA is not easy. Imagine how many kids from Mexico and Venezuela want to play in the NBA, and now we are starting, so that’s a blessing. He’s a big time Hornets player and wants to win night in and night out."

The Salt Lake Tribune

Twitter: @tribjazz

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