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Jazz doused Pelicans, 121-100, end NOLA’s 7-game win streak


PhilBoxing.com




The entire Salt Lake City was frozen stiff with the exception of the Vivint Arena where the smoldering Jazz beat the NOLA Pelicans, 121-100, Tuesday night.

Guard Malik Beasley came off the bench, sank 5 treys and led Utah with 21 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists. Solidly in the mix were Nickeil Alexander-Walker with 19 and Walker Kessler with 11 points to complement the Utah starting five’s dominant play.

In his return from right hip injury (contusion), Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson, who recently tussled with Jonathan Kuminga in their wild win over the Warriors last Wednesday, scored 11 points (4-13 FG, 1-7 3-pointer, 2-2 FT), 1 rebound, 3 assists and 1 block in 28 minutes of play. The one-time Sixth Man of The Year awardee Clarkson’s presence inspired his teammates to guard the painted area, forcing Zion Williamson to kick it out to his perimeter shooters who failed miserably.

After a 3-game respite due to illness Utah’s Lauri Markkanen scored 19 points against an imposing Williamson and Pelicans defenders. Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 19 and had a season-high 6 assists.

Walker Kessler effectively shut down the Pels in an all-around performance with 11 points, a career-high 16 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Joining the fray was Jarred Vanderbilt who had season highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Utah controlled the boards against the Pelicans with 19 to 15 offensive boards , 40 to 38 defensive grabs, and totaled 59-43 rebounds, overall. Also, Utah controlled the painted area, edging NOLA, 64-60 in points scored.

Near the end of the third quarter, the Jazz rattled 8 unanswered points including a Jordan Clarkson acrobatic layup then a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 91-71.



As a team, Utah sank 49 of 103 baskets (47.6% FG) and 15 of 47 treys (31.9% 3-PT), and led by as much as 27 points before the starting five were pulled out.

By contrast, a disheartened Pelicans team were outshot while making 37 of 93 baskets (39.8% FG) and a lowly 4 of 27 treys (14.8% 3-PT). They were briefly ahead by as much as 7 points.

Zion, who has averaged 31.3 points over the last 4 games, was unstoppable as he plowed his way to the basket, but was let down by the perimeter players when he kicked it out.

Williamson took up much of the load as he led NOLA with 26 points in 26 minutes. Jonas Valanciunas added 15, but their efforts were not enough to beat their host Utah.

It was a disappointing night for the Pelicans who rose to the top of the Western Conference only to be befuddled by the Jazz team which ended New Orleans’ 7-game win streak.

“We got to step on the court and step on the floor and understand that teams are gonna come after us, just like we go after teams,” New Orleans coach Willie Green was quoted by NBA.com. “We didn’t execute on both ends of the floor. Give them credit. They just kicked our butts.”



Upcoming:

Rematch on Thursday: New Orleans Pelicans @ Utah Jazz

Note of Appreciation:

Photos, stats and video are courtesy of the NBA and brought to you by PhilBoxing.com.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel Rivera, RRT.


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