Jazz top Pelicans for long-awaited first win

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SALT LAKE CITY -- It took two weeks, but the Utah Jazz finally picked up their first win of the season.
Shooting guard Gordon Hayward had 27 points and 10 assists, two other Jazz players topped 20 points, and Utah snapped its eight-game losing streak with a 111-105 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
"It's about time," Hayward said. "It's exciting for us to finally get off that losing streak. We've still got a long ways to go, but it's good to finally have a win in that column."
Forward Anthony Davis led all scorers with 29 points and 15 rebounds as the Pelicans (3-6) completed an 0-3 road trip. New Orleans lost 116-95 to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday night while the Jazz (1-8) rested following a five-games-in-seven-nights stretch.
"I feel a lot better. We should. I feel great for these guys," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We've been through a lot of struggles, but there's no quit in them."
There was, for a change, some offensive spark. Utah, the worst offensive team in the NBA, shot 51.4 percent overall and scored 66 points in the second half.
"They did an unbelievable job of overwhelming us at the basket, and then they started knocking down 3s," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said of the Jazz, who shot 9-for-22 from 3-point range. "They scored 38 points in the fourth quarter, and that's just unacceptable."
Small forward Richard Jefferson scored nine of his 22 points in the third quarter, sparking Utah's second-half comeback. Center Enes Kanter had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, while power forward Derrick Favors contributed 12 points and 12 boards in the Jazz's first win since the penultimate game of the 2012-13 season in April.
Utah trailed by 16 points early in the second half and took a timeout 1:24 after coming out of the locker room.
Shortly after that timeout, Utah turned the tide and eventually tied the game at 70 after a 10-0 run.
Davis gave the Pelicans an 85-78 lead in the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws before Utah started chipping away at the lead.
Hayward tied the score at 87 as the Jazz went on a game-changing 9-2 run. Hayward's bucket was set up by a steal from new Jazz point guard Diante Garrett, who got the ball to the fourth-year shooting guard on the fast break.
Garrett, signed by the Jazz earlier in the day, finished with seven points, five assists and four turnovers in a surprising 22 minutes. He played in crunch time in the fourth quarter after Utah's starting point guard, John Lucas III, was benched following an 0-for-7 first-half shooting performance.
"I thought Diante Garrett did a tremendous job," Hayward said. "First game coming in, he really led us there toward the end of the game."
Garrett admitted he felt some butterflies playing in a game so quickly after joining a team.
"Once I got the ball in my hand, they kind of went away and I didn't even pay attention," he said. "It's about, whenever your name is called, your number, whatever, you've got to be ready."
Forward Marvin Williams put the Jazz up for good with a put-back basket, giving Utah a 98-97 lead it was able to hold onto in front of a charged crowd of 16,717. Williams had 12 points and nine rebounds, and he sank a 3-pointer to extend the Jazz's lead to 104-100.
In the first half, the Pelicans didn't look as if they were the team playing a third game in four nights. Gordon scored 13 points before the break, and the visitors shot a blistering 55 percent to take a 55-45 lead into halftime.
"We had (the momentum) the whole game. We had a 16-point lead," Davis said. "When they go on a run, we have to calm down and get the crowd out of it and get another stop and score again. ... We got to make sure they have no life in them."
NOTES: PG Jamaal Tinsley's second stint with the Jazz lasted less than three weeks. The veteran was waived by the organization Tuesday after being signed Oct. 26 in the wake of rookie PG Trey Burke's broken finger. ... The Jazz filled Tinsley's vacant roster spot Wednesday by signing D-League PG Diante Garrett, who was in camp with the Iowa Energy. "I couldn't believe it at first, and then I got really excited," said Garrett, who was at Walmart when he got the call from his agent Monday night. Garrett played 19 games for the Phoenix Suns in 2012-13 and was cut from the Oklahoma City Thunder's roster a few days before this season began. ... Pelicans general manager Dell Demps and Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey previously worked together with the San Antonio Spurs. Demps and Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin also worked with each other on the New York Knicks' staff.

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