Utah Jazz End Road Trip With Loss To New Orleans Pelicans

Dec 28, 2023, 8:22 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2023, 3:28 pm

NEW ORLEANS – The Utah Jazz will return home as their five-game road trip concluded with a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, 112-105.

Utah’s three-game win streak comes to an end as New Orleans picks up their first win in the season series against the Jazz.

CJ McCollum was the X factor for New Orleans. He scored 22 points and made multiple timely buckets. Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen combined for 50 to lead the way for Utah.

First Quarter

The Pelicans were without guard CJ McCollum when they lost the back-to-back games in Salt Lake City.

McCollum looked to get revenge for those losses as he got out to a hot start.

The Pelicans big three of McCollum, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram combined for 18 of their first 22 points.

For the Jazz, it took just five minutes for all five starters to get on the board.

The Jazz were able to stay within striking distance despite the offensive fireworks from the Pelicans.

Ironically, right after Zion Williamson subbed out, New Orleans went on a 10-0 run with their best player on the sideline.

A Jazz timeout was followed by a scoring bunch that brought Utah back within three points.

Jordan Clarkson and John Collins led in scoring after one with 7 points each.

Utah trailed by two, 39-37, after the first quarter.

Second Quarter

After blistering hot shooting from both sides in the first, Smoothie King Center cooled down in the second.

Utah and New Orleans both shot 33% from the field to start the quarter.

It seemed like the Pelicans had an answer for everything the Jazz threw at them.

Whenever Utah threatened to take the lead, New Orleans splashed a three or got an easy look at the basket.

Even though Lauri Markkanen wasn’t playing his best, the Jazz stayed competitive.

The lack of production from the all-star wasn’t even really noticeable until late in the second quarter.

Utah went cold and allowed a 12-3 run in the closing minutes of the half.

This put New Orleans up by ten with a minute left.

Kelly Olynyk stopped the bleeding with a putback and the Jazz trailed by eight at the break, 59-51.

Third Quarter

Sexton came out with a vengeance after the half, scoring nine of the Jazz’s first 11 points.

The Young Bull’s scoring run brought Utah back within one point.

A corner three from Walker Kessler tied the game at 65. After a DNP Coach’s Decision against the Spurs, Talen Horton-Tucker subbed in and gave the Jazz their first lead since the first quarter.

The difference in three-point shooting started to become apparent in the third quarter.

The Pelicans were able to get back out in front when behind and build on their lead when ahead thanks to a surplus of positive shooters.

Utah shot under 30% from behind the arc through three quarters while New Orleans shot over 40%.

Utah made up some ground and trailed by five going into the final quarter, 81-76.

Fourth Quarter

After three easy looks at the rim to start the fourth for New Orleans, the Jazz took a timeout as they found themselves down 10.

Utah responded with a 7-0 run.

New Orleans put the Jazz in a tough position on defense. They showed that they could bury shots from deep but also had an 18-point advantage in the paint.

After the Pelicans went back up by double-digits, Sexton came in for the rescue with back-to-back triples.

With three minutes left, Utah trailed by one, 99-98.

In the final stretch, the Jazz buckled down on defense and forced multiple deflections. Unfortunately, the Pelicans bailed themselves out with contested makes from three on consecutive possessions.

Utah wasn’t out of it yet though. They trailed by four with a minute left.

The Jazz were unable to complete the comeback and fell to New Orleans, 112-105.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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