Pelicans-Jazz Preview

The Associated Press

Following a recent positive stretch, the New Orleans Pelicans are left hoping they can salvage something from their three-game road trip.

Anthony Davis could help make that happen against a winless Utah Jazz team that has struggled to defend the paint.

The Pelicans look for just their third win in 14 trips to Salt Lake City on Wednesday night when the Jazz try to end their worst start in 39 years.

After a 96-85 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Friday gave the team its third win in four games, New Orleans (3-5) was hoping it was finding its footing after an 0-2 start.

Instead, the Pelicans have taken a serious step back with Sunday's 101-94 loss at Phoenix and Tuesday's 116-95 setback to the Lakers. New Orleans, which came into Los Angeles with the league's fifth-best rebounding margin, was edged 53-31 on the glass by a Lakers team that had the NBA's sixth-worst differential.

''They just played harder than us,'' Davis said. ''We were kind of slow and didn't have a lot of energy out there. I got in foul trouble early, and it's hard to play like that. I never got going.''

Davis, who contributed 15 points with five rebounds while playing a season-low 26 minutes, totaled 38 points while shooting 17 of 25 from the field to go along with 19 boards in a pair of losses at Utah in 2012-13.

This season, he's averaging 25.0 points on 57.8 percent shooting in New Orleans' three wins but scoring 18.4 per game while making 40.7 percent in the five losses.

Davis, however, may be primed for a big game against a Utah team that ranks 27th in the league with 46.8 paint points allowed per game and has been outrebounded 140-112 while losing its last three games by an average of 22.3 points.

Although they've won 11 of 13 at home against New Orleans by 13.5 points per contest, the Jazz (0-8) have hardly resembled the perennial playoff teams of years past.

Utah remains the NBA's lone winless team after getting outscored 30-13 while missing 14 of 18 from the field in the fourth quarter of a 100-81 loss to visiting Denver on Monday.

The Jazz extended their worst start since opening their inaugural 1974-75 season with 11 consecutive defeats.

''This is the NBA," said coach Tyrone Corbin, whose team will play its eighth game in 13 days. "We can't look for excuses. It's not going to get any easier."

Derrick Favors is coming off his best performance with 21 points and 13 rebounds against the Nuggets. Gordon Hayward, who leads Utah with 19.5 points per game, had 18 in the first half but just four after the break.

Though he missed one of last year's matchups due to a right shoulder sprain, Hayward averaged 17.3 points while hitting 9 of 15 from 3-point range to help the Jazz take three of four from New Orleans.

Utah ranks last in the league in scoring (86.9 ppg), field-goal percentage (40.1) and 3-point percentage (22.9), but figures to have an opportunity to improve against a Pelicans team that allowed season highs in each of those categories against the Lakers.

Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (broken toe) remains out, but newly signed big man Louis Amundson debuted with three points in eight minutes off the bench Tuesday.

New Orleans also signed small forward Josh Childress, who didn't play against the Lakers.

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