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Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz - Zion Williamson - New Orleans Pelicans
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Jazz Carry Five-Game Win Streak Into Series With Pelicans

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots against Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center on October 11, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz return home Tuesday night to face the New Orleans Pelicans in the first game of a two games series.

The Jazz are one of the league’s hottest teams, owning a league-leading five-game win streak and the NBA’s second-best overall record at 9-4.

Meanwhile, the Pelicans are off to a disappointing start to their season, winning just five of their first 12 games despite entering the season as one of the league’s most promising young rosters.

Jazz One Of The NBA’s Elite Teams

After an inconsistent start to the year, the Jazz have evolved into one of the NBA’s elite teams. In addition to owning the Western Conference’s second-best record, the Jazz find themselves ranked in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating.

The team ranks ninth in offensive rating scoring 111.7 points per 100 possessions. The Jazz have been better on the defensive end of the floor where they allow just 106.5 points per 100 possessions, good for the seventh-best in the league.

Over the last five games, those numbers have skyrocketed.

The Jazz own the league’s fifth-best defensive rating at 116.6 during their blemish-free streak. The team has surrendered the fewest points over the stretch, allowing just 100.4 points per 100 possessions.

Donovan Mitchell has returned to All-Star form during the streak. The fourth-year guard is averaging 26.2 points and 5.0 assists while shooting 49 percent from the floor and 46 percent from the three-point line.

Bojan Bogdanovic has also broken out of his early-season slump, scoring 16.2 points per game while grabbing 3.8 rebounds over the last five games. The forward is shooting 45 percent from both the floor and from three.

Pelicans Looking For Consistency

The Pelicans enter the two-game series with the Jazz looking for more consistency out of the young roster.

New Orleans opened the season by winning four of their first six games before losing five consecutive outings. The Pelicans snapped their five-game losing streak on Sunday with a 128-123 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Guard Lonzo Ball has missed all three games to open the Pelicans’ current six-game road trip with a knee injury. The guard will be re-examined before Tuesday’s game to determine whether he can return to the floor.

The Pelicans are led in scoring by Brandon Ingram at 23.3 points per game. The wing signed a max contract extension with New Orleans in the offseason after making his All-Star debut for the team last year.

Second-year forward and former number one overall pick Zion Williams is the Pelicans second-leading scorer at 22.6 points per contest. The forward is coming off one of his best games of the season in Sacramento, having scored 31 points and grabbed six rebounds.

After shooting nearly 43 percent from the three-point line last season, the former Duke forward has yet to connect on a deep ball this season.

Key Matchup Between Jazz And Pelicans

Tuesday’s key matchup will pair Ingram against Jazz forward Royce O’Neale.

Ingram had tremendous success against the Jazz last season, averaging 35 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the floor and 41 percent from three. Ingram’s 35 points were his highest average against any team last season.

O’Neale meanwhile has been tasked with defending the opposing team’s best offensive player in most games this season for the Jazz and will once again fill that role against the Pelicans.

The Jazz forward is in the midst of his best season in the NBA. O’Neale is averaging career-bests in points (7.3), rebounds (7.2), field goal percentage (50 percent) three-point shooting percentage (48 percent).

The Jazz won the season series 3-1 against the Pelicans last season.

Broadcast

The Jazz and Pelicans tip-off Tuesday at 7 pm MST, the game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.

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