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Millsap leads Jazz over Hornets 104-99

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Millsap leads Jazz over Hornets 104-99

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Paul Millsap scored 25 points, Al Jefferson had 22 and the Utah Jazz defeated the New Orleans Hornets 104-99 on Wednesday night.

Ryan Anderson's 3-pointer with 15 seconds left pulled the Hornets within 100-97 but Randy Foye and Millsap each hit two free throws down the stretch to seal it.

Coming off a 45-point loss to Houston on Monday, the Jazz trailed by 12 points in the first quarter before rallying to take a 10-point lead with about 7 minutes remaining.

Anthony Davis nearly brought the Hornets all the way back with an eight-point fourth quarter. He pulled them to 95-94 with 2:18 remaining but Millsap and Jefferson hit back-to-back shots that provided the cushion Utah would need.

Greivis Vasquez led the Hornets with 17 points and 13 assists, but made just 8 of 21 shots after starting 4 for 5.

Millsap added 10 rebounds and two blocks.

Early on, the Jazz resembled the team that was embarrassed by the Rockets in their worst home loss in franchise history.

They trailed by 12 and couldn't hit a shot or defend one, shooting under 30 percent at one point while the Hornets opened 7 of 10.

Anderson and Roger Mason, starting in place of Eric Gordon, each hit two 3s as the Hornets looked strong despite coming off a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

The Jazz climbed back into the game in the second quarter behind Derrick Favors and Earl Watson.

Watson pushed the pace and Favors was a beast inside, hitting 4 of 4 shots in the quarter and corralling three rebounds.

Utah also dominated the paint in the second, holding an 18-8 edge on points.

DeMarre Carroll's fast-break layup tied it at 39 with 5:59 left in the half and Utah took a 51-47 lead into the break, with Millsap finally scoring a field goal after starting 0 for 4.

Millsap got going in the third, scoring 11 points as the Jazz took a 78-75 lead into the fourth.

Utah quickly bumped it to eight, Burks hitting a 3-pointer on a nice feed from Millsap. The Jazz increased the lead to 90-80 on a pair of free throws by Burks with 7:16 remaining.

Davis then made it a game, finishing with 14 points as five Hornets players scored in double figures

Utah also had five players in double figures, with Favors adding 15 points, Foye 14 and Marvin Williams 11.

After shooting just 38.1 percent in the first quarter, the Jazz finished at 50.

Both teams were missing key players, with the Jazz still without starting point guard Mo Williams (thumb surgery) and third-leading scorer Gordon Hayward (sprained shoulder.)

The Hornets held out leading scorer Gordon, held out as part of medical protocol on the second game of back-to-backs.

NOTES: Hornets coach Monty Williams said the team continues to follow the medical protocol it set for Gordon, holding him out in the second game of back-to-backs. Gordon has come back from a knee injury that caused him to miss the first third of this season, and all but nine games last year. ... Millsap had his first two shots blocked. ... Millsap officially joined Twitter on Wednesday, with one of his first tweets a shoutout to La Tech, which he attended. ... The Hornets shot 68.8 percent in the first quarter but made just 5 of 18 shots (27.8 percent) in the second. Vasquez was particularly cold, hitting just 1 of 7 shots in the second and turning it over twice. His complaining earned him a technical with 3:24 left in the half.

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The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list

The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list

Every offseason the NFL Network polls a number of current players to determine the Top 100 stars in the league.

It's a fun discussion topic during an otherwise slow time in the football calendar, and while the rankings carry no official meaning, it would be silly to dismiss the process altogether. After all, these are players voting for their fellow players. 

Over the last few seasons, the Redskins have seen a various number of their players make the list. Trent Williams is a mainstay, Jordan Reed made an appearance, and while he was playing in Washington, QB Kirk Cousins made the list. 

For example, in 2017, Cousins ranked 70th on the NFL Top 100. That same season, while quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith came in at 81 on the list. 

Now Redskins QB, there is a bit of a mystery surrounding Smith.

The NFL has revealed numbers 100 to 11, and Smith hasn't made the list. Cousins, now a Viking, landed 94th, the first QB on the list.

Another 10 QBs have been named to the Top 100: Jimmy Garoppolo (90), Derek Carr (60), Philip Rivers (56), Case Keenum (51), Deshaun Watson (50), Jared Goff (38), Matt Stafford (31), Matt Ryan (29), Ben Roethlisberger (18) and Russell Wilson (11).

Smith had the best statistical season of his career in 2017, and he led the NFL in passer rating. He certainly belongs higher on the Top 100 than a number of the quarterbacks listed above, particularly young players without his track record of success like Keenum, Watson or Goff. 

But does Smith deserve a Top 10 ranking in the NFL?

For Smith to make the list, it will mean a Top 10 ranking. Consider too that Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz have not yet landed on the Top 100. All four of those players seem like locks for the Top 10, which will be revealed next Monday night on NFL Network. 

It might seem surprising for Smith to land in the Top 10 of the NFL Top 100, but it would make zero sense for him to be left off the list altogether. 

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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