Jefferson scores 21 to lift Jazz over Bobcats

Al Jefferson scored 21 points, Paul Millsap added 12 rebounds and the short-handed Utah Jazz blocked 10 shots to hold off the Charlotte Bobcats, 83-78, on Monday night.

The Jazz won despite being without star point guard Deron Williams for the third straight game because of a wrist injury.

Stephen Jackson led Charlotte with 24 points, while D.J. Augustin added 20 for the Bobcats, who have lost two straight.

The Bobcats trailed by as many as 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but pulled within 76-74 on a 3-pointer by Jackson with 4:19 remaining.

Jefferson bumped Utah's lead back to 79-74 on a layup, but a pair of free throws by Jackson made it a one-possession game again. He made two more free throws to pull Charlotte with one point with 1:58 left.

Millsap grabbed two offensive rebounds off misses before being fouled with 40 seconds left. He made both free throws for an 81-78 Utah lead.

Gerald Wallace missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it for Charlotte and Jazz guard Raja Bell grabbed the defensive rebound then made both free throws for the final margin.

It was a game of runs.

The Jazz started the game with an 11-0 run, and Charlotte fought back with a 10-0 run of its own.

Utah opened the second half with another 11-0 run to take a 54-41 lead only to see the Bobcats go on a 13-2 run to pull within 56-54.

Utah started the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run to take a 72-62 lead.

Again the Bobcats fought back behind their backcourt duo.

But it wouldn't be enough down the stretch.

Earl Watson, starting his third straight game in place of Williams, picked up two fouls in the first period and a third foul with 7:53 left in the second quarter. He finished with five points and six assists in 19 minutes.

The Jazz led 24-18 after one quarter, with Jefferson leading the way. He had nine points, four rebounds and three blocks in the quarter, while C.J. Miles added five points, including a 3-pointer.

Utah led by as many as nine points in the second quarter (39-30) after another 3-pointer by Miles and a jumper by Jefferson.

But Charlotte came back again. The Bobcats tied it at 41 on a three-point play by Augustin with about a minute remaining before halftime, but trailed 43-41 going into the locker room on a short jump shot by Bell.

Utah shot 52.9 percent and held a 26-14 rebounding edge in the first half but also had 14 turnovers.

Notes: Utah had seven blocked shots in the first half. ... BYU star guard Jimmer Fredette was in the crowd to watch. ... Jazz reserve C Mehmet Okur missed his 35th game of the season, and the second straight with a lower-back strain.