Pelicans look to extend streak vs. Jazz

The New Orleans Pelicans are showing life with three consecutive victories.

The Pelicans look to continue their sudden success when they visit the Utah Jazz on Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

New Orleans won just three of its first 12 games prior to the winning streak that consists of home wins over the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers as well as Thursday's 124-121 road win over the Phoenix Suns.

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The streak comes as rookie power forward Zion Williamson continues to recover from knee surgery on Oct. 21. The timeline was initially six-to-eight weeks and general manager David Griffin said Williamson should make his debut near the end of the timeline.

"Right now, I think we're on target for eight weeks," Griffin told New Orleans radio station 100.3 on Friday. "Probably not to the day, but in and around that."

For now, small forward Brandon Ingram is carrying the biggest portion of the load for the Pelicans.

Ingram, who was acquired as part of the offseason deal in which Anthony Davis was sent to the Los Angeles Lakers, is averaging 25.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 11 games.

He is averaging 28.2 points over his past five appearances. That includes a 28-point performance against the Suns in which he scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.

"Just seeing what the defense was giving me," Ingram told reporters. "I was forcing it a little bit in the first half. Not letting the game come to me. I tried to open up the floor a little bit by passing it to my teammates for shots on the wings, then finally finding attack space and knocking down shots."

Shooting guard JJ Redick scored 26 points in the victory and point guard Jrue Holiday added 23 points and nine assists.

Utah has won back-to-back games and is looking to improve on an impressive 7-1 home mark.

The Jazz posted a 113-109 victory over the Warriors on Friday night in a contest that went really well for three quarters.

Utah led by 18 points but committed seven of its 21 turnovers in the final stanza as Golden State outscored the Jazz 37-23. The Warriors crept within two before Utah finished it out.

Fifteen minutes after the contest ended, the arena was hurriedly evacuated due to a suspicious package.

Utah coach Quin Snyder was frustrated when he spoke to reporters shortly before the building was cleared.

"The whole fourth quarter, we got sloppy, turned the ball over, didn't get back in transition," Snyder said. "... There's disappointment in the fourth quarter and how we executed offensively, and the things that we can control -- particularly transition defense, not getting back with urgency."

Two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert did his part with seven blocked shots -- the fifth time he's had at least seven in his career -- and 19 rebounds.

Star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points for the fourth time this season. Point guard Mike Conley made 4 of 5 3-point attempts while scoring 27 points and has tallied 15 or more in each of the past eight games.

"He's just starting to get comfortable," Snyder said of Conley, who was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in the offseason. "He knows where his shots are coming (from), he's getting more connected to the other guys on the court, particularly in the pick-and-roll. He's ready to shoot off the ball, and he's leading our team."

Former Utah big man Derrick Favors (back) will miss his fourth straight game for the Pelicans. Center Jahlil Okafor (ankle) and guard Josh Hart (ankle) are questionable. Both players have missed the past five games.

Utah has won four of the past five meetings.

--Field Level Media

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