The Utah Burke's started off really hot as at one point Trey Burke was singlehandedly outscoring the entire Pelicans squad 14 to 12 about half way through the first quarter. However, the Pelicans started fighting back and made it a very close game for what felt like the entire first half.
The first half felt like a game of runs with the Jazz continuously trying to pull away, but the Pelicans kept on fighting back to tie the game multiple times.
The Pelicans were slashing the Jazz's leads with the mighty big-man combo of Davis and Anderson who had a combined 29 points at halftime.
For the Jazz's players in the first half, Exum had a nice 7 points off the bench, while Kanter was the only one besides Trey with double figures at the half with 10 points.
The third quarter continued to be a game of runs as the Jazz sprinted to a double digit lead only for the Pelicans to cut it to 2 towards the end of the 3rd.
Then, the quarter that mattered happened.
The Jazz were up with 9 points with 8 minutes to go, then the Pelicans went straight for the jugular then never looked back. The Pelicans ended the game on a 29-12 run. It was quite disheartening, but the first 40 minutes of the game showed many positives that this team be positive for.
They did a good job scoring easy on this Pelicans team, posting over 110 points for the first time this season. So, the offense is continuing to steadily improve to be an average league offense, which is promising for such a young team with a rookie coach.
However, once again the theme of this season's shortcomings is how this Jazz team cannot defend to save their lives on most nights. Luckily, I would say it is easier to teach defensive skills then offensive so let's hope these young players continue to strive towards commiting to the defensive schemes and philosophies that I'm sure Coach Q has been trying his hardest to cram into these talented players' heads. Perhaps playing Gobert more could help improve this team on the defensive end, probably even more than perhaps (#FreeRudy)
Speaking of Rudy, he finished his 2nd straight start by putting up a respectable 6 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 assists.
Kanter finished with a delectable career-high 29 points and 7 boards.
Jazz finished with 6 players in double figures while Davis led the Pelicans' 5 players in double figures with 31 points. Anderson also finished with 28 points (we need someone who can defend stretch 4's please).
Anyways, the Jazz finish with a well-fought loss but at least they led for the vast majority of the game, just gotta work on closing. They play the HEAT tomorrow at 5:30 PM MT.
We'll get 'em next time Jazz!