Hayward, Jazz get first win

For the first time this season, basketball was fun for Gordon

Hayward and the Utah Jazz.

”Once you see that ball go in, the hoop gets wider and guys are

feeding off the energy. It started to become really fun,” Hayward

said.

Hayward had 27 points and 10 assists and Richard Jefferson added

22 points to help the Utah Jazz claim their first victory of the

season, a 111-105 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday

night.

”It’s definitely fun when guys are making shots and you’re

whipping the ball around from side to side. And we were getting

some stops too,” said Hayward, who scored 22 points in the second

half to help the Jazz erase a 16-point deficit to put an end to

their worst start in 39 years.

”It’s about time!” Hayward said.

Derrick Favors made a key layup with 24 seconds remaining and

Jefferson added three free throws in the final minute to clinch the

victory.

When Marvin Williams hit a 3-pointer to make it 104-100, Jazz

fans leapt to their feet and the Utah reserves bounced around and

high-fived like college players in a postseason tournament.

”We finally got that monkey off our back,” said Favors, who

had 12 points and 12 rebounds. ”We knew sooner or later the

chemistry would show and people were going to hit shots they

normally make.”

Enes Kanter had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz, who

overcame their worst start to a season since 1974-75, their first

year as an expansion franchise in New Orleans.

Anthony Davis had 29 points and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans,

who dropped all three games on their Western road swing.

Tyreke Evans, an offseason trade acquisition who has struggled

to find his role in the New Orleans scheme, had a season-high 19

points, with almost all of them coming on drives to the basket.

Jrue Holiday added 19 points for a Pelicans team that was in

control for most the game.

”We had the momentum the whole game,” Davis said. ”We got to

make sure they have no life in them, but we let up and let them

back in.”

Jason Smith made a layup just after halftime to give New Orleans

a 61-45 lead.

As the most experienced player on the team, Jefferson took a

strong stand in the ensuing timeout huddle.

”There is no more `Let’s get it next time.’ This is

unacceptable! This is our time right now,” he told his teammates,

according to Hayward.

Jefferson became the focal point of a dormant Utah offense in

the third quarter and scored nine points in a 13-2 run.

”He led us tonight. We followed his lead. He’s been through it

all over the years,” Hayward said.

The last time Jefferson scored 22 points was more than three

years ago as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. But the young Jazz

relied on the 12-year veteran, as well as the contributions of

fellow ”old-timer” Williams, who had 12 points and a key block on

Holiday in the final minute.

”The young guys will eventually be great, but this team needs

veterans. We need to take over in spots,” Jefferson said.

The Pelicans built the lead back to 10 before Hayward tied the

game at 70 with his second 3-pointer during a burst of 10 straight

points for the Jazz.

Diante Garrett was set to play for Iowa of the D-League but

arrived in Salt Lake City on Tuesday and ended up playing 22

minutes for the Jazz, who need a point guard while they await the

debut of lottery pick Trey Burke.

Burke is a few weeks from playing while recovering from a

fractured finger. The Jazz released Jamaal Tinsley and benched John

Lucas III after an 0-for-7 shooting start in the game.

”I was shopping at Wal-Mart two nights ago when I got the

call,” said Garrett, who had seven points and five assists and was

running the point in crunch time. ”I haven’t even had a practice

yet but the coach was just drawing up plays on the white board in

timeouts for me.”

His sense of relief at getting through his first game in Utah

was only exceeded by his teammates getting their first taste of

victory.

”It’s been tough to sleep at night as a member of the only NBA

team without a win. I hate losing and maybe I’ll finally sleep well

tonight,” Hayward said.

NOTES: Two of the worst-shooting teams in the league combined to

make more than half their attempts, with the Jazz shooting 51.4

percent. … Hayward spent part of the first half with an ice bag

on his shin following a collision in the first quarter. … Greg

Stiemsma sat out the game due to a left knee he sprained in

Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers. … The final margin was Utah’s

largest lead of the game.