SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz are shooting the lights out, and the victories are starting to pile up.
Donovan Mitchell had 28 points and seven rebounds, and the Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-102 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight win.
Mitchell also made four of Utah’s 21 3-pointers. Jordan Clarkson added 18 points, six rebounds, and six assists, and Joe Ingles scored 15 points. Rudy Gobert had 13 points, 18 rebounds, and three blocks.
“The biggest thing is we’re shooting our shots,” Mitchell said. “We’re not passing up 3s.”
Improved defensive play has keyed Utah’s surge on the perimeter, and it continued against New Orleans. The Jazz disrupted shots, crashed the boards, and sprinted up the court on numerous possessions to stay a step ahead of the Pelicans.
“Defending creates those shots and defending keeps us in the game if they’re not going in,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.’
Bojan Bogdanovic added 11 points, while Georges Niang scored 10 points off the bench, his fourth straight game scoring in double figures.
Zion Williamson scored 32 points for New Orleans, and Brandon Ingram had 17. The Pelicans trailed the entire second half after allowing the Jazz to make more than 20 3-pointers for the fourth time in six games.
“We couldn’t stop them on anything,” New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Obviously what stands out is the 21 3s. But they also didn’t have any trouble getting to the rim. So, you know, they got whatever they wanted we didn’t take anything away from them.”
Ingles, who missed the last three games with a sore Achilles, made five of six three-pointers for his 15 points.
“I’m just glad to be back out there,” Ingles said. “I think the weirdest thing, me and Mike [Conley] were talking about it when he was out last year, is when the team starts winning and you’re out, then you come back in, you don’t want to be the one that ruins it. So, I’m just glad we won. That’s all I wanted to do tonight.”
Williamson gave the Pelicans an early lift in the first half. He converted all five of his first-quarter field goal attempts and capped a 7-0 run with a layup that put New Orleans up 20-18.
Mitchell matched his efficiency. He powered the Jazz offense in the first quarter, scoring 15 points while going 6 for 7 from the field. He converted a three-point play to punctuate an 11-2 run that gave Utah a 29-22 lead.
Mitchell also had a key stretch in the second quarter. He scored and threw a one-handed wraparound pass as he was falling out of bounds out to Bogdanovic to set up another basket. The two plays bumped Utah back in front 55-49 before halftime.
The Jazz carried that momentum into the third quarter. Utah made 3-pointers on four straight possessions to extend its lead to 73-55.
Utah made eight total 3-pointers during the quarter. Clarkson and Ingles scored the final two on back-to-back possessions to push the Jazz lead to 91-69 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Guys have been doing a great job defensively,” said Gobert. “I believe when we play great defense, and we think about defense, it helps our offense. We’re able to run, and when we run on teams, we’re unstoppable.”
The Jazz and Pelicans will play again Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. at Vivint Arena.