Jazz blow another late lead and lose to New Orleans, 98-97

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – For the second straight home game, the Utah Jazz blow a lead in the final seconds and lose at Vivint Arena.

Devonte’ Graham made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds to lift the New Orleans Pelicans to a 98-97 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Brandon Ingram had 21 points and six rebounds for the Pelicans. Nickeil Alexander-Walker chipped in 15 points. Willy Hernangomez added 13 points and eight rebounds.

“I wanted to win,” Graham said. “I didn’t want to go into overtime and give them any energy. (With) the crowd, it’s tough to play here so I was just thinking go for the win.”

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points and Donovan Mitchell added 16 points and six assists for the Jazz. Mike Conley and Joe Ingles chipped in 12 points apiece.

After trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Pelicans surged ahead in the fourth quarter and took a 91-85 lead on a layup by Herbert Jones with 4:45 left.

The Jazz rallied and went back in front on back-to-back baskets by Mitchell. Conley followed with a layup and Rudy Gobert added a free throw, giving Utah a 97-93 lead with 37.5 seconds remaining.

Utah could not hang on. Ingram made a pair of free throws and Graham hit the 3 in transition after Mitchell missed a driving layup in the final seconds.

“We’ve established an identity to this team,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We don’t look like that team. That’s where the inconsistency lies. I think we know how we need to play. It’s just a question of us executing.”

Bogdanovic scored five of Utah’s first six baskets – including three 3-pointers – for an 18-10 first-quarter lead.

Alexander-Walker bookended a 13-1 run with a pair of 3-pointers before Utah countered with a 15-2 run, punctuated by Bogdanovic sidestepping a defender to knock down his fourth 3-pointer of the game, to surge back ahead 43-32 midway through the second quarter.

New Orleans erased the deficit as the quarter progressed and took a 46-45 halftime lead on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Hernangomez. The Jazz missed five shots and committed three turnovers over their final eight first-half possessions to open the door for a rally. Utah went scoreless over the final 4 ½ minutes of the first half.

The Jazz and the Pelicans will play again on Saturday night.

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