Panzura preseason postgame wrap: Jazz 127, Pelicans 96
Preseason is partly about learning and preparing for the upcoming 82-game schedule, making Monday’s matchup against a cohesive and veteran-laden Utah squad an excellent opportunity for New Orleans’ young players to see the strides that must be made at the pro level. Relying heavily on the starting lineup that led them to the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed in 2020-21, the Jazz administered an educational experience for the Pelicans, building a huge lead and cruising to victory.
After going up by 17 points at halftime, Utah opened the third quarter on a 13-5 run, creating a 25-point lead when Donovan Mitchell splashed in a mid-range jumper four minutes into the period.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Devonte’ Graham provided a much-needed offensive spark and some perimeter accuracy, knocking down four three-pointers and scoring 14 points, all in the first three quarters. New Orleans actually finished with five players in double-digit scoring, but several got there in mop-up time during the fourth quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
30: Utah assists, a sign of the Jazz’s already-developed chemistry while using numerous familiar faces, such as Mitchell, Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert.
67-43: Utah scoring edge in the middle quarters. Graham scored 14 of those 43 New Orleans points.
WHO STARTED: Graham, Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, Trey Murphy III, Jonas Valanciunas
WHO DIDN'T PLAY: The team’s two recent All-Stars, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, did not appear for the third and fourth straight game, respectively. Jaxson Hayes was also sidelined.
WHAT'S NEXT: A week-plus of practices and preparation ahead of the Oct. 20 home opener vs. Philadelphia. That’s followed by a three-game road trip to Chicago and Minnesota (the latter for consecutive games in Target Center).