A week ago, in handing the Utah Jazz their first win of the season, the Pelicans also became the first team this season to give up 100 points to the NBA's most offensively-challenged franchise. The Pels made it obvious from the start of tonight's rematch with the struggling denizens of Salt Lake City that they weren't going to make that mistake again, pulling away late for a 105-98 win.
They started by holding Utah's leading scorer Gordon Heyward to just one of 17 shooting from the field and a paltry six points. Anthony Davis kept it lively at the block party he's been hosting all season, adding another eight swats to his total to tie his career high, including a Heyward jump shot on the wing that Davis tossed into the stands. Davis led the team on both ends of the floor, finishing with a game-high 22 points.
For their part, Utah (1-12) kept the game close with defense of their own. They held the Pelicans' Eric Gordon to just three of 13 from the field, but New Orleans overcame Gordon's cold night thanks to a second straight night of sharpshooting off the bench from Ryan Anderson, who missed the first nine games of the season but has returned to rain threes down upon the Pels' opponents with great vengeance and furious anger. Anderson was four of six from beyond the arc and finished with 19 points, showing no rust in his shot since he made his return on Saturday against Philadelphia.
Most importantly, the Pelicans (5-6) managed to close out their opponent, a skill that had eluded them early in the season. The Pels overcame another troubling third quarter that saw the Jazz turn a four-point halftime deficit into a six-point advantage before the Pelicans reasserted themselves, going on a 14-0 run in the fourth to put the Jazz away for good.
Next up for the Pelicans is the chance to even up their record at 6-6 Friday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers, who fell to 4-8 tonight in a 98-91 loss to the Wizards.