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The Roundup—Jazz starters start to jell in loss to Pelicans
After a blowout victory over Adelaide last Saturday and a lopsided loss in Milwaukee on Wednesday, the Utah Jazz went down to the wire against the Pelicans on Friday, leading for much of the game before falling 128-127 on the road in New Orleans.
The Jazz are now 1-2 this preseason, and on Friday fans finally got a look of Utah's core group playing together—albeit in slightly limited minutes.
After shooting a combined 0-for-14 against Milwaukee on Wednesday, the duo of Mike Conley (13 points, seven assists) and Bojan Bogdanović (15 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals) bounced back in New Orleans, shooting 10-for-18 from the field, including 6-for-10 from beyond the arc.
Rudy Gobert finished with 15 points and two blocks, while Donovan Mitchell chipped in 10 points and seven assists. Royce O'Neale, who started at power forward, had 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting.
No Utah starter played more than 27 minutes.
Jeff Green (20 points on 8-for-9 shooting) and Tony Bradley (10 points, five rebounds in nine minutes) scored in double figures off the bench.
Utah led by nine in the first quarter, by eight at halftime, and by 11 after three periods—but the Pelicans' bench was strong enough down the stretch to help New Orleans pull out the narrow victory.
Rookie Zion Williamson—the top overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft—scored a game-high 26 points for the Pelicans, while fellow rookie Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 22 points off the bench in the win.
New Orleans center Derrick Favors scored two points in 11 minutes against his former team.
Conley/Gobertpic.twitter.com/z0w2olE7Fp— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 12, 2019
defensebuckets pic.twitter.com/cBUpB2OivM— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 12, 2019
Three triples for Bogey— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) October 12, 2019
(and 22 assists for the Jazz) pic.twitter.com/9dIOwXm32t
Utah made 19 3-pointers in 38 attempts (50.0 percent), with O'Neale (4-for-6), Bogdanović (3-for-5), Conley (3-for-5), Green (2-for-3), Mitchell (2-for-6) and Georges Niang (2-for-4) each making multiple threes.
After shooting 37.2 percent from the field against the Bucks, the Jazz bounced back to shoot 59.0 percent against the Pelicans. Utah's top seven players—the starters plus Joe Ingles and Jeff Green—combined to shoot 34-for-54 (63.0 percent).
The Jazz dished out 37 assists on 49 made baskets, while New Orleans finished with only 20 assists. Ingles led the Jazz with eight assists in 25 minutes off the bench. Conley and Mitchell had seven assists apiece.
The Pelicans played without star point guard Jrue Holiday (quad contusion), while the Jazz were missing Danté Exum (knee rehab), Emmanuel Mudiay (hamstring) and Juwan Morgan (ankle). ... Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, who came to New Orleans as part of the Anthony Davis trade, added 18 and 15 points, respectively. ... Frank Jackson had 14 points off the bench for New Orleans. ... Utah led by as many as 14 points.
The Jazz will return home to face the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.