In a season where the New Orleans Pelicans already have had their low points, forward Anthony Davis didn’t want to experience another one against the struggling Utah Jazz. After blowing a 16-point lead in an embarrassing road loss last week to the Jazz, the Pelicans corrected their flaws to pull out a much-needed 105-98 victory in the rematch Wednesday night at the New Orleans Arena. Unlike last week, the Pelicans didn’t let their momentum slip in the fourth quarter, despite a sluggish start to the second half. They responded with timely plays and started the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run to take an 87-73 lead and never looked back. During a stretch in the quarter, the Pelicans made three consecutive 3-pointers, two by forward Ryan Anderson, to extend their lead to 14. Davis led the Pelicans (5-6) with 22 points, and Anderson scored 19 points off the bench. It was Anderson's second game back after missing the first nine with a broken toe. Pelicans swingman Tyreke Evans also sparked the bench with 13 points. "It's nice to be able to plug guys in especially when the starters don't have their normal juice," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "I didn't think collectively the starters had it tonight. "I thought Tyreke came in and gave us an edge, Ryan as well. I wouldn't call it a luxury yet because we're a work in progress, but it was nice to be able to go to the bench." The Jazz (1-12) was off to its worst start in franchise history at 0-8, but outplayed the Pelicans in the fourth quarter last week for a stunning 111-105 victory. The Pelicans were motivated not lose again, especially after routing the Philadelphia 76ers 135-98 last Saturday to end a three-game losing streak. They played tough defense against Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward, who shredded the Pelicans for 27 points last week. Hayward never found a rhythm, finishing with six points on 1-of-17 shooting. The Pelicans applied traps, with Davis coming out on the perimeter several times to apply help defense on Hayward. In the third quarter, the Pelicans came out with full-court pressure to disrupt the Jazz’s shooters. Davis had eight blocks, including a swat of a 3-point attempt by Hayward in the first quarter. In the past two games, Davis has 17 blocks. New Orleans finished with 13 blocks against Utah. The Jazz came in ranked 29th in scoring, averaging 88.6 points a game and was on a three-game losing streak since beating the Pelicans last week at EnergySolutions Arena. Utah made 51.4 percent of its shots and scored 38 points in the fourth quarter of last week's victory, but the Pelicans held the Jazz to 44.6 percent shooting Wednesday night. With 1:39 remaining Davis soared for a dunk that made the score 105-91 to ensure there would be no Utah comeback this time. "We've just got to defend, and it starts with me,'' Davis said. "They came out shooting the ball a lot, but everybody defended the ball. Nobody really got beat off the dribble like we did in Utah. Nobody got open looks. "We just had to change up our schemes a little bit and get back to how we was playing. When play defense, we're a tough team to beat.''
Pelicans beat Utah Jazz, 105-98, to avenge last week's loss
New Orleans Times-Picayune | Nov 21