NEW ORLEANS – It’s not often an NBA team gets a do-over, but that’s exactly what the Utah Jazz will get Wednesday night when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans — again.
After blowing a 14-point lead over the final eight minutes Monday night thanks to some sloppy offense and iffy defense and allowing the Pelicans to fly past them for a 115-112 victory, the Jazz will get another shot at New Orleans Wednesday night at the Smoothie King Center (6 p.m. MT).
Before Monday’s disappointing defeat, the Jazz were coming off a terrific week when they beat three playoff teams, including the team with the second-best record in the Western Conference (Denver) and the team with the best record in the NBA (Milwaukee).
They had been cruising to an apparent victory, leading the Pelicans by 17 points in the first half and by 14 with just over eight minutes to go, when it all came crashing down.
The Jazz couldn’t get stops, couldn’t make a basket and kept turning the ball over with 10 of their 18 turnovers coming in the final quarter.
“It was a lot of things,” said coach Quin Snyder. “You can go through a dry spell which is what that was. It was obviously at an inopportune time, but that’s when your defense needs to carry you and we didn’t have that happen.”
Here’s how the sequence went over the 15 possessions in a six-minute span when the Jazz were only able to manage a pair of free throws by Rudy Gobert, while the Pelicans went from a 103-89 disadvantage to a 111-105 lead.
Kyle Korver missed shot . . . Joe Ingles bad pass . . . Korver missed 3-pointer . . . Donovan Mitchell bad pass . . . Mitchell missed 3-pointer . . . Ricky Rubio missed shot . . . Mitchell missed layup . . . Mitchell missed 18-footer . . . Gobert made free throws . . . Mitchell bad pass . . . Ingles bad pass . . . Mitchell offensive foul . . . Gobert missed shot . . . Mitchell missed 3-pointer . . . Ingles lost ball.
The Jazz were finally able to recover and run off seven straight points to take the lead, but after a missed Pelicans’ shot, Elfrid Payton was able to wrestle the ball away from Ingles and make the go-ahead shot.
Now it’s back to New Orleans where the city is celebrating with its annual Mardi Gras festivities.
Both Snyder and New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry compared the back-to-back games to a playoff scenario, although it’s different because it’s regular season.
“It’s kind of like a playoff situation, but you don’t really put the same kind of emphasis on it,” Gentry said. “Obviously one team is going to have to make more adjustments than the other team and that’s usually the way it is when you go back-to-back like this. We’ve done it the last few seasons, a couple of times a season. It’s a situation where it’s just another regular-season game so you just try to make those adjustments on those things that hurt you most.”3 comments on this story
Snyder pointed out that his team had a similar situation six weeks ago in playing Minnesota at home and then in Minneapolis two days later.
“It’s hard, it requires you to focus more,” he said. “It’s not a two-game series, it’s one game tonight and remember we’re flying to New Orleans to play again.”
The Jazz will head to Memphis after the Wednesday game to face the Grizzlies Friday night at the FedEx Forum. Then they’ll return home for a home game against Oklahoma City on Monday night.