Game Recap: New Orleans Pelicans fight Utah Jazz, injuries to win 102-95

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Game #73: Utah Jazz (23-49) @ New Orleans Pelicans (31-40)
Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
March 28, 2014 -- 6:00 pm MT
TV: ROOT Sports -- RADIO: 1280 am / 97.5 fm

March Game Streams -- The Bird Writes -- Jazz vs Pelicans coverage

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Ok. The New Orleans Pelicans were already playing without Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, Jason Smith, and Brian Roberts. Then during the game Anthony Davis got hurt in the first quarter. Sure, the Utah Jazz were missing Alec Burks, but this game shouldn't have been such a dogfight. It was though. Early on Derrick Favors and Diante Garrett were getting it done while Gordon Hayward and Richard Jefferson were playing poorly. They weren't alone. Both teams were turning the ball over and charging into one another for the majority of the first half.

The Jazz managed to score just 16 points in the second quarter, and as a result Utah was down at half by 5. Of course they then came out in the third quarter with a mission: and that mission was to play harder but continue to lose. They fouled like crazy in the third quarter despite tying the game up at the 5:40 mark. It got so bad they had to put Ian Clark in the game. That's foul trouble, because you and I and your neighbor knows that Tyrone Corbin would rather move back to Canada than play him. Anyway, the Pelicans were up by 72-66 after three.

The final frame started with the same level of sloppiness that predicated the entire game. NOP started to make some shots and nearly broke the game open, but the Jazz kept fighting on the offensive glass. It was almost a 10 point lead, but the Jazz were only down 6 with 5:55 to go. The Jazz got within 1 point with about four minutes to go, but the Pelicans are still a good team with shot makers, and they returned the lead to 6 points with 3:03 to go.

Derrick Favors blocked 'Reke, and Trey Burke got the ball (from Richard Jefferson) and scored a layup with close to a minute left. But then the game was summarily ended on an Alexis Ajinca and-one. The Jazz took a time out with 56.7 seconds left and down by 7. Aaaannnnd the final score was 102-95. So guess how well the team did after that time out. (Jazz completion after time outs is not so good.) Richard Jefferson had a few dunk attempts (he made one good one), and was fouled with 21.7 seconds left on a three point prayer. He made all three free throws. So, silver lining?

The Jazz lost. That's the golden lining on a night when the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics both also lose.

Three Positives:

  1. Derrick Favors had a double double and was getting it done on offense early. Of course, sure, yes, Ant-man wasn't out there. But he still finished with a 18/11/2/2/4 line. That's good.
  2. Bench scoring? We got bench scoring today.
  3. Gordon Hayward was draining shots in the fourth quarter. That's good. He finished with 21 points (8/8 FT), 7 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal, and 1 block.

Three Negatives:

  1. We still can't stop Tyreke Evans, only Tyreke Evans can stop Tyreke Evans. Tyreke Evans finished with 22 points, 15 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block. And he only went to the line 7 times.
  2. You lost to a team playing without five rotation guys. We beat some teams when we were down four rotation guys. But we lost to a team down five. Three of them are starters.
  3. NOP started MISSING FTS late in the game so it would end sooner. But we kept fouling. This was like Corbin's last stand.

The Jazz play next on Sunday at the Oklahoma City Thunder, and then on Monday at home against the New York Knicks.

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