The Roundup—Jazz use big second half to secure win over Pelicans
Playing a rare Sunday matinee, the Jazz stormed back in the second half to steal a 116-99 victory over the Pelicans in New Orleans.
The Jazz (37-30) have won six straight games and 18 of their last 20. They currently sit in a three-way tie for eighth place in the Western Conference standings, and they're only 1.5 games behind the Pelicans in fourth place.
"Of course, we pay attention," Ricky Rubio said about the standings. "But we don't have to worry about it. We know that our game has taken another level, and we believe that we can make it just being us."
Utah relied heavily on its starters, with Rubio leading the way with 30 points. Rudy Gobert added 19 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Joe Ingles scored 11 of his 20 points in the first quarter, while Donovan Mitchell closed it out with 25 of his 27 points in the second half.
Superstar Anthony Davis recorded his first career triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks (plus three assists and three steals), though he was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Jrue Holiday scored 18 points in the loss for the Pelicans (38-28).
Ingles was hot early and Mitchell caught fire late—but Rubio was the steady presence that led the Jazz to the victory. Utah's point guard stuffed the stat sheet with 30 points (his third 30-point game this season), 10 rebounds and seven assists. It was Rubio's second straight game with 10 rebounds, and he's now averaging 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.6 steals over his past five games.
After falling behind 6-2, the Jazz drilled four straight shots to kick start a 23-7 run. Ingles scored 11 of those points—on a layup, a three-point play and two straight 3-pointers right in front of the Pelicans bench. Rubio added two threes of his own, and Gobert knocked down two free throws as the Jazz opened up a 12-point lead.
Seems the weather is following us wherever we go because it looks like rainpic.twitter.com/cYqHhR9yII— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 11, 2018
The Pelicans took the lead back by halftime and held it for much of the third quarter until Utah erased a nine-point deficit with a 24-8 run. Gobert flushed home a two-handed alley-oop slam (off a pass from Mitchell), and then Mitchell took over. The rookie, who shot 1-for-9 to start the game, went 5-for-6 during that stretch. He sprinted in for a layup, drilled a three, and then converted an acrobatic three-point play to give Utah the lead. After a driving dunk, two free throws, a 3-pointer and another three-point play—all by Mitchell— the Jazz had an 81-74 lead (and all the momentum) early in the fourth quarter.
That's more like itpic.twitter.com/2y27rAHdOr— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 11, 2018
New Orleans cut Utah's lead to three before the Jazz went on a quick 10-2 run to push their lead back to 11 midway through the fourth quarter. Jae Crowder made a 3-pointer, Gobert converted a three-point play, and four free throws (two each by Gobert and Ingles) capped the run. They cruised from there.
The Jazz got to the line often and shot a near-perfect 96.0 percent (24-for-25). Gobert (9-for-9), Rubio (6-for-6) and Mitchell (4-for-4) led the way. New Orleans shot 11-for-13 (84.6 percent) from the free-throw line.
Utah's starters scored 102 of the team's 116 points (87.9 percent). Utah's reserves shot only 5-for-25 from the field and were outscored 31-14 by New Orleans' bench.
The Jazz made another 12 3-pointers, with Rubio (4-for-5), Ingles (3-for-6) and Mitchell (3-for-10) each making multiple threes. The Pelicans shot only 6-for-21 (28.6 percent) from long distance.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"When Ricky rebounds like that, it allows us to get out [in transition] and get some easy stuff and take some pressure off our offense."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Mitchell now has 22 games with 25+ points. ... The Jazz won the season series with the Pelicans 3-1. ... Former Jazz guard Ian Clark finished with 14 points for the Pelicans. ... Utah has won 11 straight road games. ... The Jazz outrebounded the Pelicans 55-38. ... New Orleans outscored Utah 64-48 in the paint, 10-7 on second-chance points, and 27-13 in transition. ... The Jazz will play their next four games at home, and their next five against teams with losing records.
The Jazz will return home to face the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.