Big Third Quarter Run Breathes Life Into Struggling Utah Jazz

Dec 15, 2022, 8:56 PM
Malik beasley of the Utah Jazz shoots against the Denver Nuggets (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Jazz used seven straight defensive stops to turn a 13-point Pelican lead to a 91-90 Jazz lead with a 14-1 third quarter run.

The Jazz are hosting the New Orleans Pelicans at Vivint Arena on Thursday, December 15.

Trailing 89-77, Jarred Vanderbilt and Kelly Olynyk combined to make five free throws to start the run. Jordan Clarkson followed by forcing a steal and going all the way for an easy dunk to make it 89-84.

After forcing a stop on the other end, Malik Beasley hit his fourth three of the night, cutting the New Orleans lead to 89-87.

After Tre Marshall hit a free throw, Rudy Gay and Beasley each hit layups to give Utah their first lead since a 46-43 advantage midway through the second quarter.

New Orleans would score the last five points of the quarter to take a 95-91 lead into the fourth.

Sexton, Fontecchio Out With Injuries

Collin Sexton will miss his fourth consecutive game with a hamstring injury suffered against the Golden State Warriors on December 7th.

Sexton is averaging 14.3 points and 3.0 assists in 27 games with the Jazz this season.

RELATED: Jazz Will Be Without Sexton, Fontecchio In Pelicans Rematch

Fontecchio was also injured in the Jazz win over the Warriors, despite scoring the game-winning basket.

The Italian rookie sprained is ankle early in the game but finished the night before being ruled out over past week.

Fontecchio is averaging 4.8 points and 1.3 rebounds while shooting 41 percent from the three-point line.

Will Hardy Praises Jazz Defense Against New Orleans

On Tuesday, the Jazz crushed the Pelicans 121-100, snapping their two-game losing streak.

RELATED: Healthier Jazz Crush West-Best New Orleans Pelicans

Jazz coach Will Hardy was quick to point out that the Jazz had their best defensive night of the year against the Pelicans, holding New Orleans to 39 percent shooting from the floor and just 4-27 from the three-point line.

“What stood out to me was how connected we were on the defensive end,” hardy said. “That was our best defensive game of the season as a team identifying the gameplan, helping each other, and rebounding as a team.”

The Pelicans had just one made three at halftime, and two through the first three quarters as the game quickly spiraled out of control.

“Being a good defensive team takes a ton of effort, it takes multiple efforts on every possession,” Hardy said. “That’s something we’ve been stressing in practice, and the guys are getting better and better.”

Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans

The Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans game is televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. It can also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

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Big Third Quarter Run Breathes Life Into Struggling Utah Jazz