SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans flipped a switch and pummeled the Utah Jazz in the fourth quarter Wednesday night.
The Pelicans decided to play more physical on defense and that led a 16-point turnaround that gave New Orleans a 104-94 victory.
“From a competitive standpoint, we played the way you have to to win on the road,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “I thought we were really good defensively in the fourth quarter. Obviously, giving up 15 points was a big key, but I just thought our activity and everything we did was really good.”
Ryan Anderson scored 24 points off the bench for New Orleans, which outscored Utah 31-15 in the fourth quarter.
Anthony Davis finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Eric Gordon added 19 points as the Pelicans avoided a third straight loss.
“We just did a good job of moving the ball as a group, as a unit and found the right man,” Anderson said. “I just tried to be aggressive tonight.”
The Pelicans (7-18) trailed by six after three quarters, but used a 23-10 run to pull away. Anderson completed a three-point play to tie it at 85 and Davis’ jumper gave New Orleans a 91-89 lead with about five minutes remaining. The Jazz never led again.
Derrick Favors had 16 of his 22 points in the third quarter, added seven rebounds and matched a career high with five assists. Gordon Hayward finished with 20 points and six rebounds, and Trey Burke scored 12 points off the bench.
“We had a hard time scoring, was the main thing,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We were in positions where we have to be able to make plays. Particularly down the stretch, they did a really good job defensively. I thought they were very physical with us. We didn’t respond real well.”
The 10-point final score was the largest lead of the game.
The Jazz (10-14) have lost a season-high four straight.
“Yeah it’s frustrating, but I’ve been through it before,” Favors said. “Just have to keep working. Keep at it. Don’t feel bad or sorry for yourself.
“You’re going to have winning streaks and losing streaks just like you have bad games and good games. Just got to keep fighting.”
Pelicans: New Orleans shot 5 for 8 from 3-point range in the first quarter. … Anderson attempted a career-high 13 free throws and made them all. … New Orleans earned just its second road win of the season. … Davis has 10-plus rebounds in 11 of his last 15 games.
Jazz: Rodney Hood left the floor early in the first quarter with a right knee contusion. He returned later in the quarter. … The start of the game was delayed 10 minutes due to a lighting problem. … Joe Ingles did not play after having oral surgery. … The Jazz recalled rookie Tibor Pleiss from the D-League on Wednesday.
The Jazz started center Jeff Withey for the first time this season. Alec Burks also started in a three-wing lineup. Utah has been searching for the right lineup combinations since Rudy Gobert was lost to injury. “I wouldn’t call it experimental mode,” Snyder said. “I would call it adjustment mode. I think we know at this point who we have.”
Gentry said point guard Jrue Holiday is two weeks from having his minutes restriction removed. He played a season-high 29 minutes Monday, though that was a couple more than restriction allows for. “We cheated a little bit … I didn’t think two minutes was going to make a major difference in that situation,” Gentry said. “We’ve got two more weeks to go and everything’s lifted. For Jrue, it’ll be a little bit easier for him because in certain situations where he gets going, we have to then turn and take him out because we have preserve some of the minutes. When all of that is lifted, the consistency in his game will be better also.”
“We knew we weren’t out the game,” Davis said. “There was 12 minutes to go and six points is nothing, especially in the NBA.”
Pelicans: Visit Phoenix on Friday.
Jazz: Host Denver on Friday.