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The Roundup—Jazz 98, Pelicans 108
The Jazz trailed by double-digits twice—and got back into the game twice—but simply didn't have an answer for New Orleans superstar Anothony Davis as the Pelicans pulled away for a 108-88 win Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.
Davis finished with a game-high 29 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.
Donovan Mitchell struggled from the field (6-for-17) but shot 9-for-10 from the line and finished with a team-high 24 points. Joe Johnson came off the bench to score a season-high 20 points in the loss.
Derrick Favors and Ricky Rubio added 11 points each for the Jazz (16-22).
Davis stuffed the stat sheet with 29 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block, while Jrue Holiday scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half. DeMarcus Cousins was limited by foul trouble but still managed 19 points and 11 rebounds in the win for the Pelicans (19-18).
After struggling with a wrist injury for much of the season, Johnson was in vintage form against the Pelicans. The 16-year veteran methodically dribbled his way to the shots he wanted and went 9-for-12 from the field (including 2-for-3 from 3-point range) for 20 points, and he added seven rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes.
The Jazz trailed by nine midway through the second quarter before reeling off a 17-9 run. After deferring to his teammates for much of the first half, Mitchell took over with three straight baskets (including a 3-pointer from the top of the key). Favors chipped in two layups and Johnson got into the lane for three buckets. Instead of being down by double digits, the Jazz trailed by only three at the half.
Johnson got into it with Cousins, forcing New Orleans' center to the bench with his fourth foul (and very nearly a technical), before back-to-back threes by Johnson and Mitchell gave the Jazz their first lead since early in the game. New Orleans, though, answered with a 12-1 run to close the third quarter. Davis scored seven of those points for the Pelicans.
The Jazz trailed by 12 when Alec Burks threw down a dunk and then converted a three-point play. Ekpe Udoh cleaned up Mitchell's miss for another bucket and then Burks hit two free throws to pull the Jazz within three with 8:03 left in the fourth quarter. The rest of the game, though, belonged to the Pelicans as Davis and Cousins combined to score 19 of New Orleans' final 24 points.
New Orleans' second-chance points, especially late in the game, doomed the Jazz. Consecutive putbacks by Cousins and Davis midway through the fourth quarter—and then another by Cousins with just over a minute left—all but ended Utah's chances at a comeback. The Pelicans finished with 17 second-chance points in the game. Utah had just four.
The Jazz seemed to get good looks from outside, but they couldn't find a groove and shot only 7-for-32 (21.9 percent) from 3-point range. Mitchell shot 3-for-11, while Rodney Hood went 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. Joe Ingles shot 2-for-6 from long distance, with both of his makes coming in the game's first three minutes. New Orleans shot 14-for-30 (46.7 percent) from 3-point range.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"[New Orleans] shot the ball very well. We weren't aggressive enough—I don't think they felt us. ... When you see a team shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line, you have to do a better job."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Rudy Gobert (knee) missed his ninth straight game for the Jazz. ... Utah forced 20 turnovers and converted them into 18 points. Rubio led the way with four steals. ... The Jazz shot 15-for-17 (88.2 percent) from the free-throw line. The Pelicans shot a perfect 12-for-12 from the line but didn't shoot their first free throw until the 3:32 mark of the third quarter. ... Utah outscored New Orleans 56-44 in the paint.
The Jazz will begin a four-game road trip when they face the Denver Nuggets on Friday. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.