Hayward scores 23, leads Jazz to 88-83 win over Pelicans
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored 23 points and the Utah Jazz led from start to finish in an 88-83 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.
The Jazz pushed their win streak to three games despite a choppy performance on both ends.
The Jazz led 43-34 at halftime after leading by 18 following a dominant first quarter. Utah had a 20-6 run in which eight players scored.
Rudy Gobert posted his 44th double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The Pelicans shot a season-low 35.7 percent. Anthony Davis had 20 points and 12 rebounds, while DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points.
The Pelicans struggled on both ends of the floor throughout the night, but a 12-2 second-quarter run cut the lead down to single digits. The Jazz shot 55.0 percent in the first quarter, but New Orleans picked up the intensity in the second quarter and held Utah to 6-for-22 shooting in the period.
Both teams seemed weary on the second night of back-to-backs and jump shots weren't falling. New Orleans chipped away and got within three points midway through the fourth quarter, but clutch 3-pointers from Alec Burks, Hayward and Joe Ingles proved too much to overcome.
Pelicans: Signed Jordan Crawford to a 10-day contract Monday and he scored 19 in his debut. ... Jrue Holiday was held to four points after averaging 20.1 over the previous 19 games.
Jazz: Joe Johnson sat out with a strained left groin. ... George Hill sat out to rest a sore left great toe. ... Shelvin Mack did not play due to a left ankle sprain. ... Hayward played his 500th regular-season game.
PLAYING IT SAFE
Jazz guard Rodney Hood didn't start and played just 20 minutes as coach Quin Snyder was careful with his minutes on the second night of a back-to-back. Hood has missed 14 games with knee issues and Snyder said they need him healthy down the stretch.
The Pelicans entered the night 2-4 since acquiring Cousins in an All-Star break trade. Coach Alvin Gentry said it will take time for Cousins, Davis and the rest of the team to mesh.
"The reality of it is, you can look at Miami when LeBron when there," Gentry said. "You can look at Cleveland when he went back. It just takes a while for it to work.
"It's not anything that is going to happen overnight."
Pelicans: New Orleans hosts DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.
Jazz: Utah travels to face MVP candidate James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.