The Utah Jazz expected a fight as they rematched with the New Orleans Pelicans, their second meeting in three days.

“You kind of treat it like a playoff series,” Donovan Mitchell said. “We won Game 1. They’ll make adjustments and be ready for Game 2. It’s going to be completely different.”

“A team will always come out with more purpose and more energy in the second game if you’ve lost,” head coach Quin Snyder added.

The Jazz were right about that.

Fortunately, they made a few adjustments of their own along the way to beating the Pelicans, 129-118, for the team’s seventh consecutive victory.

“It’s all about getting better,” Jazz center Rudy Gobert said after recording 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. “Today we had to dig in a little deeper. It was a great test. We answered the challenge.”

The Jazz improved to 11-4 on the young season.

Mitchell scored a game-high 36 points (11-of-19 shooting) to go with seven rebounds and five assists. The All-Star guard also became the fastest player in NBA history to make 600 career 3-pointers.

After making six 3-pointers all of Tuesday night, the Pelicans drained eight of them in the first quarter of Thursday’s rematch. Star sophomore Zion Williamson hit his first triple of the season, part of a team-high 27 points. And All-Star forward Brandon Ingram scored 20 of 23 points in the first half, as the Pelicans built up a 16-point lead early in the second quarter.

But the Jazz clawed their way back.

“Being able to withstand their run was huge,” Mitchell said.

The Jazz shot 52.4 percent from the floor in the second, while holding New Orleans to 38.5 percent (0-for-4 from beyond the arc). Mitchell followed up his 13-point first quarter with eight more points in the second. Meanwhile, Jordan Clarkson and Georges Niang combined for 15 second-quarter points off the bench. So when Mike Conley slashed to the basket for a bucket in the final seconds of the half, the Jazz were back on top, 70-69.

“I think it’s our ability to turn up our energy level a couple of notches,” Conley said of his team’s play during the win streak. “Especially defensively. We really get after guys, try to get in the passing lanes, and be a little more aggressive.”

Conley finished with 20 points and six assists.

The Jazz kept the pressure on in the third quarter. When Ingles hit a reverse layup late in the period, the Jazz had fully reversed the deficit, leading 96-80.

New Orleans cut the lead back down to six early in the fourth quarter on a Williamson turnaround. But that was as close as the Jazz would let the Pels get.

“We talked about how difficult it is to beat a team twice in a 48-hour period,” Snyder said. “Give New Orleans credit. They’ve got character. They came out tough. But I thought our guys were willing to grind.”


Tuesday’s Best


Derrick Favors wasn’t looking to settle a score.

The Utah Jazz center’s one-year sabbatical in New Orleans was a positive experience.

“It’s not like a revenge game or anything like that,” Favors said as he prepared to face the Pelicans this week. “It’s more so just another game for me. But I’ll be happy to see some of the players over there.”

Favors had high praise for New Orleans stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and said he has kept close tabs on his former teammates this season.

“They play on TV damn near every night,” Favors said. “I’m happy for them.”

Williamson is averaging 22.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in his second season.

“I saw the highlights and everything, the hype during his college career,” Favors said. “As I got a chance to see him up close in practice and the games, I started to believe the hype. This guy can do a lot of great things.”

Ingram, an All-Star a season ago, also earned Favors’ admiration.

“One he gets to his spots, he’s tough to cover,” Favors said.

Up Next

The team’s homestand continues Saturday when the Jazz host Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Tipoff at Vivint Arena is set for 7 p.m.

Find Tickets


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?