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The Roundup—Jazz escape Big Easy with sixth straight win
In a game that featured 11 ties and 18 lead changes, the Utah Jazz came away with a thrilling 128-126 victory over the Pelicans in New Orleans Monday night.
A pull-up jumper by Donovan Mitchell gave Utah a two-point lead with just over a minute left, and then Rudy Gobert sealed the win when he challenged a missed layup attempt by New Orleans' Brandon Ingram just before time expired.
"It happened pretty quickly, but from what I saw I thought he blocked it. That's what [the referees] get paid to do," Utah's Joe Ingles said. "They called the game, and I'm happy we got a win at the end of a tough trip."
Utah's Bojan Bogdanović scored 23 of his season-high 35 points in the second half, while Ingles added 22 points and Mitchell chipped in 19 points and six assists.
Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 16 points, and Gobert just missed a double-double with nine points and 19 rebounds in the win.
The Jazz (24-12) have won six straight games—including the last three on the road—and 11 of their last 12 overall.
"I think we're just getting better as a group, knowing where to go," Ingles said. "We've got an unselfish team. We move the ball. We play together, and we're connected. It's a fun group to play with."
New Orleans' trio of Ingram (35 points, eigh rebounds, five assists), JJ Redick (23 points) and Lonzo Ball (21 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) combined for 79 points, while E'Twaun more added 13 points off the bench for the Pelicans (12-25) in the loss.
"We've been able to play in different ways when we've needed to," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. "New Orleans is a really good team. They're playing very well. They know who they are. They have an identity, and they're really tough to guard. Our ability to score some points tonight put us in good position, and then at the end Rudy made a great play."
Each team played without its starting point guard—Utah's Mike Conley was out again with a lingering hamstring injury, while New Orleans' Jrue Holiday sat out with an elbow injury.
Monday's Best: Joe Ingles
Ingles was all over the court against the Pelicans, stuffing the stat sheet with 22 points, two rebounds, six assists and two steals—and a game-high net rating of +12. Ingles has now scored in double figures in 11 of his last 12 games, and he's averaging 6.1 assists in the 16 games since Conley's original injury.
22pts/2stl/6ast/2reb pic.twitter.com/Cf0iOGUc9Y— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 7, 2020
A strong start to the thrid quarter put the Jazz up by 11, but New Orleans responded with a 18-3 run that flipped the momentum. Utah, though, punched back with a quick 8-0 run of its own early in the final period. Clarkson put in a nifty layup in traffic and then, after a block by Tony Bradley, Georges Niang canned a 3-pointer. Another three by Ingles put Utah up by four and forced a Pelicans timeout.
The game went back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, and the Jazz made just enough plays down the stretch to pull out the win. Ingles found Gobert for an alley-oop slam and then grabbed a steal. Mitchell's jumper with 1:12 remaining proved to be the final points as Ingram, Royce O'Neale, Redick and Bogdanović traded misses from the perimeter before Gobert protected the lead in the closing seconds.
Ol' reliablepic.twitter.com/ojIZUJuYeP— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 7, 2020
The Jazz now lead the NBA with 17 clutch victories, which refers to a game where the score is within five points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.
Utah torched the nets from deep, shooting 16-for-33 (48.5 percent) from 3-point range. Ingles (4-for-5), Clarkson (4-for-7), Bogdanović (3-for-9), Niang (2-for-3) and Mitchell (2-for-6) each made multiple threes.
Neither team turned the ball over much—Utah finished with eight turnovers while New Orleans had six. ... The Jazz outscored the Pelicans 18-8 in transition. ... Clarkson, Ingram and Jaxson Hayes each picked up technical fouls in the third quarter. ... Utah shot 51.1 percent from the field and 83.3 percent (20-for-24) from the free-throw line. New Orleans shot 48.4 percent from the field and 80.0 percent (24-for-30) from the line. ... The Jazz are now 11-9 on the road this season. ... Former Jazz big man Derrick Favors finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes.
The Jazz will return home to take on the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.