Utah Jazz: Pelicans hand Jazz 50th loss of season
New Orleans prevails despite absence of three key players.
Published: March 28, 2014 10:57PM
Updated: March 28, 2014 11:33PM
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Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin calls to his team against the New Orleans Pelicans in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

New Orleans • If it felt familiar, it’s because it was.

As he stood in the bowels of the arena Friday night, Jazz coach Ty Corbin faced his usual post-game inquiries into what went wrong, his players’ morale and how they might pull out off a slide before the season’s end.

“Nobody love losing,” the coach said.

This year’s Jazz team, however, has become intimately familiar with it.

Friday night’s loss - a 102-95 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans - was the 50th of the season for a Utah team that expected struggles in a rebuilding year and has certainly seen them realized.

The latest loss came differently than might have been expected.

After game planning for Anthony Davis, the Pelicans’ burgeoning superstar played just 3:43 before leaving with an ankle injury.

“We should have took advantage of that,” said Jazz forward Derrick Favors, whose night seemed as though it would benefit most from Davis’ absence.

Favors did score 18 point, while grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking four shots.

It wasn’t enough, though Favors was hardly alone in any blame.

The Jazz should have also taken advantage of missing guards Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon, who were also held out due to injury.

“They were missing three all-stars pretty much - four if you want to include Ryan Anderson,” said Jazz forward Richard Jefferson. “We still couldn’t get it done.”

Asked if he was surprised the Jazz didn’t do better with Davis gone, Corbin laughed.

“You know, the other guys are NBA players also,” he said.

And on Friday, New Orleans’ were better than the Utah’s.

Gordon Hayward (21), Trey Burke (12) and Marvin Williams (12) all scored in double figure for the Jazz.

New Orleans, meanwhile, got 22 points and a career-high 15 assists from Tyreke Evans and another 20 points from Anthony Morrow.

“We just have to continue to fight and those games out,” Burke said. “We definitely had a chance to win this game tonight.”

A Hayward jump shot brought the Jazz within one point of New Orleans with just over four minutes to play in the game. And after a Pelicans turnover, the ball found its way to Marvin Williams in the left corner. His 3-point shot teased, before bouncing out.

From there, the New Orleans went on a 12-4 run, ensuring a third straight loss for Utah.

“We’re playing hard,” Jefferson said afterward. “We had a shot late in the game. We’re rarely laying eggs. We’re out there competing and the last four or five minutes, we don’t do a very good job of executing. That could be fatigue or it could be part inexperience.”

The Jazz shot 48.5 percent from the field to New Orleans’ 50.7. They were out-rebounded 37-31. And they coughed up the ball 19 times, accounting for 33 points for New Orleans.

“They played a better game than we did,” Corbin said.

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Twitter: @tribjazz