The Roundup—Jazz 111, Pelicans 119
By Matt Payne, utahjazz.com
After leading from early in the first quarter until the game’s closing minutes, the Jazz were unable to hold off a late charge by the New Orleans Pelicans, falling 119-111 in a high-scoring game on the road.
New Orleans outscored the Jazz 41-22 in the fourth quarter, erasing a 12-point Jazz lead and pulling away as Utah was forced to foul in the final minute. In the end, the Pelicans’ trio of Anthony Davis (31 points, nine rebounds), Ryan Anderson (28 points, six 3-pointers) and Tyreke Evans (19 points, six assists) made game-deciding plays down the stretch.
And despite playing one of their best games of the season, the Jazz couldn’t match New Orleans’ fourth-quarter energy and execution.
Enes Kanter led the Jazz with a career-high 29 points, while Gordon Hayward scored nine of his 17 points in the third quarter as the Jazz built an 89-78 lead heading into the home stretch. Trey Burke went 5-for-5 (including two threes) in the first quarter, but failed to hit a shot after that and finished with 16 points.
Derrick Favors missed his second straight game with an ankle injury.
It was a hot-shooting night for both teams, as the Jazz (50.0 percent) and Pelicans (59.5 percent) each hit at least half their shots and combined to go 33-for-37 (89.2 percent) from the free-throw line.
The shooting percentages were so high because so many shots came from right around the basket. The Jazz scored a season-high 68 points in the paint, while the Pelicans scored 54.
Coach’s Quote of the Night
“I think there were so many good things about the way we played tonight—we really connected and had exchanges and possessions where we were able to execute a lot of the things we’ve been working on. [New Orleans] turned it up and a couple of their players made some great plays and had some big-time efforts.”
—Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Kanter was a beast down low in his career night, going 12-for-22 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. He also recorded seven rebounds, two steals and one block. In his last five games, Kanter is averaging 17.8 points and 9.4 rebounds.
Danté Exum had the best game of his (very) young career Tuesday night, dropping a career-high 12 points in 20 minutes of court time. Exum went 5-for-7 from the field, including 1-for-2 from 3-point range, and added two assists, one steal and a block. The 19-year-old was aggressive in The Big Easy, blowing by Jrue Holiday and converting a three-point play, and also throwing down two dunks in the lane.
Alec Burks, who finished with 16 points, sank a fadeaway three from the top of the key just as the shot clock buzzer sounded, giving Utah a 102-96 lead with 6:52 left in the game. As a team, the Jazz went 5-for-15 from 3-point range.
Block of the Night
In the first quarter, Evans, who’s known for his physical, bullying style of play, backed Burke into the paint then went for a turnaround jumper ... and got stuffed by Utah’s 6-foot-1 point guard. The Jazz finished with seven blocks (including three by Rudy Gobert, who started for the second straight game).
The Jazz will travel to Miami for a game against the Heat tomorrow night. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. MT and the game will be televised on ROOT SPORTS.