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The Roundup—Jazz 114, Pelicans 108
Another game. Another strong second half. Another Jazz win.
And this time it was with FEELING.
Donovan Mitchell scored 29 of his career-high 41 points in the second half as he led the Jazz to a 114-108 come-from-behind victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night in front of a raucous crowd at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The Jazz (12-11) have now won five straight games and sit in seventh place in the Western Conference standings.
Alec Burks scored 24 points off the bench, while Derrick Favors double-doubled with 18 points and 13 rebounds (plus five assists and two steals). Joe Ingles (13 points) was the only other Jazz player to score in double figures.
Superstars DeMarcus Cousins (23 points, 13 rebounds) and Anthony Davis (19 points, 10 rebounds) led the way for the Pelicans (11-11), though Davis left the game early in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. He was down on the court for several minutes and had to be taken to the locker room in a wheelchair.
E'Twaun Moore (18 points) and Darius Miller (15 points) made four 3-pointers each in the loss.
Mitchell was just ... wow. The rookie canned back-to-back threes for Utah's first points of the game, and then he was pretty quiet for the rest of the first half. He must have been saving his energy for the second half, because he absolutely stole the show in crunch time. Mitchell broke Darrell Griffith's franchise record for points in a game as a rookie, and he joined an elite group—LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon, Steph Curry and Blake Griffin—as the only current NBA players who scored 40+ points during their rookie seasons. Mitchell shot 13-for-25 from the field (including 6-for-12 from 3-point range) and 9-for-11 from the line, and he added four rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes.
The Pelicans closed the first half on a 17-2 run and led by as many as 16 early in the third quarter, but the Jazz turned it around and got back into the game heading into the final period. Mitchell scored 12 points while Burks added nine as Utah cut New Orleans' lead to two late in the period.
The fourth quarter got more than a little crazy. New Orleans went on a 12-0 run to take a 96-90 lead with 5:35 left in the game, but the Jazz once again responded in a big way. Favors threw down a dunk, stole the ball from Cousins, and then converted a three-point play to pull Utah back within one. Mitchell drilled a three and then got to the hoop for a scooping layup. Ingles canned a three from the wing off a slick pass from—you guessed it!—Mitchell, who then knifed past Cousins into the lane for another layup (while being fouled) to give Utah a four-point lead. Burks grabbed a tough rebound in traffic and got fouled, and a technical foul was called on Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. Mitchell made a free throw and then Burks made two free throws, giving the Jazz a 110-103 lead with 52.6 seconds left. Ingles grabbed a steal and dished to Burks for a layup. After a Pelicans bucket, Mitchell was fouled and made both free throws for his 40th and 41st points of the game.
The Jazz shot 12-for-30 (40 percent) from 3-point range. During their five-game win streak, the Jazz have made 14, 18, 14, 17 and 12 threes, and they're shooting 45.7 percent (75-for-164) from beyond the arc over that stretch.
Utah continued continued to play unselfish basketball, finishing with 25 assists. Ingles led the way with seven assists. As a team, the Jazz are averaging 21.8 assists per game this year.
The Jazz outscored the Pelicans 71-53 in the second half, and Utah's post-halftime success is becoming a trend. The Jazz are outscoring their opponents by an average of 18.8 points in the second half over the past five games.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"We've been a 'together' team. Sometimes that's the impact that injuries have—they really pull a group together. I think we've got a pretty selfless group regardless, but right now even the guys that are out are happy for the guys that are playing, because everybody knows that everyone else on the team is putting in the time. When you're working at it and investing in your game, you're also investing in the team. There's a general sense that you like to see your teammates rewarded for that. ... Guys that don't play well or don't play as much, for them to be able to share in their teammates' success says a lot about the character of the guys on the team."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Rudy Gobert (knee), Rodney Hood (ankle), Joe Johnson (wrist), Raul Neto (hamstring) and Danté Exum (shoulder) remained out for the Jazz. ... The Pelicans were on fire from outside for much of the game, shooting 15-for-30 (50 percent) as a team. ... The Jazz outscored the Pelicans 48-38 in the paint. ... Utah committed only nine turnovers. ... Jonas Jerebko was limited to 22 minutes because of early foul trouble, but he still finished with a game-high net rating of +20. ... Rajon Rondo finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and a game-high 11 assists for the Pelicans. ... The Jazz celebrated Star Wars Night with themed entertainment throughout the evening.
The Jazz will stay at home to face the Washington Wizards on Monday. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.