NBA Wrap March 2nd
IMAGE: Fox Sports
WILLIAMSON, INGRAM AND PELICANS NEGATE FURIOUS JAZZ SURGE
The entirety of the game the Pelicans had the Jazz at their style of pace.
Then the Pelicans nervously halted the League’s best team to record its best win of the Season.
Zion Williamson had 26 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, while Brandon Ingram also scored 26 as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Utah Jazz 129-124 for its first win in three tries this Season against the League’s best.
Lonzo Ball put up 23 points and 8 assists for the Pelicans who had lost its previous two games by a combined seven points (Bucks and Spurs).
Bojan Bogdanovic had a game-high 31 points for Utah sinking seven triples, while Rudy Gobert had 22 points, 9 assists and Donovan Mitchell finished with 21 points and 8 assists.
New Orleans went step for step with the Jazz in the opening 24 minutes only trailing by five (64-59) at intermission.
Start of the third would be the Zion show and he dominated scoring 15 points in the period with his array of quick moves in the paint, with the Pelicans suddenly ahead by double-digits – up 11 going into the final term.
Williamson’s surge translated into the early stages of the fourth, with the lead out to 17 when three-points specialist J.J Redick capitalised on a four-point play with 10:06 remaining.
Then the League’s best three-point shooting began to conjure up its tempo stringing together a 34-18 run capped off by Royce O’Neale’s three from the wing in transition to make it only a one point Pelicans lead (125-124) with 47.2 seconds remaining.
After an Ingram miss on the midrange, the Jazz had two opportunities to capture the lead, but could not finish: Mitchell missing a layup, then Gobert missed a tip-in on the follow.
From the passage of play, Gobert would be called for a loose ball foul sending Williamson to the line where made both his foul shots to push the margin out to three. If two cracks were not enough, Utah had a third and final attempt to tie the contest. The ball would be placed in Mike Conley hands, he opted for a three to tie the game only to heave a horrible attempt from deep trying to draw the foul.
Utah did not foul, leaving a streaking Josh Hart to surge to the hoop uncontested for the dunk to end an absorbing final few minutes.
The Pelicans continue its six-game home stand with Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls next. Utah travels to face the Philadelphia 76ers for a second and final time this season having won the first encounter 134-123 on February 15.
In other results around the Association:
James Harden and Kyrie Irving took command in the extra frame as the Brooklyn Nets ended a long-losing drought defeating the San Antonio Spurs 124-113.
Harden registered his seventh triple-double with his new team finishing with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists, while Kyrie Irving had 27 points and 7 assists for the Nets who won for the first time in San Antonio since Game 2 of the 2003 NBA Finals.
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 22 points, 11 assists, while Dejounte Murray had 19 points and 8 assists, including the buzzer-beating jumper to force Overtime.
Brooklyn has won six road games on the trot, improving to 15-7 since Harden’s acquisition on January 14th.
Luka Doncic was phenomenal positing 33 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists as the clicking Dallas won for the ninth time in their last twelve defeating the Orlando Magic 130-124.
Team leading-scorer Nikola Vucevic had 29 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists, but his usual all-round performance could not prevent the Magic from a fourth straight loss.
Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz gave Philadelphia major production off the bench combing for 45 points as the 76ers continued the woes of the slumping Indiana Pacers in a dominant 130-114 victory.
One of the leading candidates for this season’s MVP, Joel Embiid put up 24 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists for Philadelphia, improving to 15-3 at home.
Nikola Jokic contributed 39 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists, while Jamal Murray had 24 and the two took control late to pull the Denver Nuggets over the Chicago Bulls 118-112.
Collin Sexton scored 39 points, handing out 8 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers sent the free falling Houston Rockets to a 12th straight loss in a 101-90 win.
John Wall had a season-high 32 points for Houston as offensive problems continue to plague the team.
Carmelo Anthony got super hot in the fourth scoring 17 of his 29 points in the frame as the Portland Trailblazers snapped a four-game skid defeating the Charlotte Hornets 123-111.
By Juri Bilcich