Pelicans can't survive the triple digit benchmark
The Utah Jazz are no longer winless, and the New Orleans Pelicans are pondering what's missing in their game after going 0-3 on a disappointing road trip out West where they allowed every opponent to surpass the 100-point threshold.
The Jazz notched their first victory of the season Wednesday against the Pelicans, triumphing 111-105, shooting 51.4% and out-rebounding New Orleans 44-34. This is the first time the Jazz put up 100 points this season. That triple-digit scoring benchmark historically equates to a loss for New Orleans, as the team has struggled to produce a win in those situations dating back to last season.
"They did an unbelievable job of overwhelming us at the basket, and then they started knocking down three's," head coach Monty Williams said. "For us, we have to learn to win these games on the road or anywhere. The bottom line is we have to play better defense, a lot better defense than what we've played."
The third quarter, once again, proved to be the Pelicans' undoing. After a halftime message from the coaching staff to do a better job of guarding the paint to prevent penetration, New Orleans went up by as much as 16 points, only to wear down and close the third period with a slight 4-point advantage. The Jazz proceeded to embark on a fourth quarter tear, logging 38 points, delivering a debilitating blow that the Pelicans couldn't counter.
Forward Anthony Davis led the team in scoring with 29 points. In conjunction with his 15 rebounds, those points equated to Davis' sixth double-double in nine games. Point guard Jrue Holiday and swingman Tyreke Evans each poured in 19 points, while guard Eric Gordon contributed 16.
The cloud hanging over New Orleans finally affected sharp-shooter Anthony Morrow as well, who was 0-of-1 in three point attempts during 13:49 minutes of play. Morrow entered the game having snagged 15 of his 24 attempts this season, ranking him 2nd in the NBA for three point percentage, 1st amongst players with 15 attempts or more.
The Pelicans next welcome Holiday's former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, to the New Orleans Arena Saturday. Wednesday the Jazz travel to the Crescent City for a rematch the Pelicans will be desperate to win.