'There will be nights like this': Jazz explain 34-point loss to Pelicans

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

NEW ORLEANS — Ahead of Friday's game, New Orleans coach Willie Green was asked why he thought the Utah Jazz had the league's top offense this season.

"They don't make a ton of mistakes," Green said.

Maybe they don't usually …

On Friday, though, things were rough — really rough.

The Jazz were down 18 points after the first quarter, they trailed by 27 at halftime and fell behind by as many as 37 in the second half as Utah was absolutely flattened by the Pelicans 124-90 at Smoothie King Center.

"Out of 82, there will be nights like this," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.

The Jazz allowed easy points in transition early on and struggled to break the paint and get into their offense against the long Pelicans. That was a bad combo; and it resulted in New Orleans taking a 20-point lead early in the second quarter. The lead stayed over that mark for the rest of the night.

The Jazz scored a season-low points and shot a season-low 34.8% from the field.

"We're gonna have nights like this. ... Give credit where credit's due," Donovan MItchell said.

Utah didn't play well — far from it — but to Mitchell, the game was more about the Pelicans than about the Jazz. Herb Jones and Co. forced Mitchell off the ball, and forced the Jazz to make two, three or four extra passes to even get into the lane. When the Jazz didn't do that — and it was few and far between — it often resulted in a turnover and a transition opportunity the other way.

Soon the lead ballooned and ballooned.

"They made it tough and they made it tough for 48 minutes," Mitchell said. "I think that's what made this performance for them special."

There have been plenty of games this season where the Jazz have started slow. On Sunday, to use just one example, Utah found itself down by 14 to the Phoenix Suns in the game's opening minutes before coming back and winning.

Snyder has even said that a 20-point lead in the NBA is nothing; that usually is the case. With the way most teams can score, one run can change anything. Friday, though, the Jazz never even threatened a comeback.

What was different?

"I can't say we had it as a group," Mitchell said.

That much was obvious — no one played well.

Mitchell was kept in check by the impressive rookie Jones (Mitchell even sat back down following his press conference to make sure he praised Jones), who finished with 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting.

Bojan Bogdanovic went 1 of 11 from the field and scored just 5 points. Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson both went 0 for 4 from 3-point range. Even the end-of-game lineup of Nikeil Alexander-Walker, Juancho Hermongomez, Udoka Azubuike, Eric Paschall and Jared Butler were outscored by 8 points in the final seven minutes.

Mitchell couldn't point his finger on what it was exactly that wasn't there for Utah — was it fatigue? a poor mindset? — but, frankly, with how the Pelicans were playing, it probably didn't matter anyway.

"I really don't want to say us right now, I really want to give them credit because when you're up to 30 at half, and then to continue to stay up 30, no matter what, (that's difficult)," Mitchell said. "We would hit a shot, go on a little quick run and they countered. They countered with a sprint transition or a mid-range shot. That's skill in itself and you've got to give credit where credit's due and that's really where I'm where I'm at. They played really good basketball tonight. We didn't."

Most recent Utah Jazz stories

Related topics

Utah JazzSports
KSL.com Utah Jazz reporter


From first downs to buzzer beaters, get KSL.com’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast