New Orleans Pelicans blame lack of defense for loss to Utah Jazz
New Orleans coach Monty Williams didn't have to look far to find the reason for his team's 111-105 loss to the previously winless Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
The Pelicans, who led by 16 early in the third quarter and by eight with less than 10 minutes remaining, allowed 38 points in the fourth quarter.
Utah had scored only 13 points in the final 12 minutes of Monday night's 100-81 loss to Denver. But the Jazz made 12 of their 17 shots in the fourth quarter against New Orleans.
"They did an unbelievable job of overwhelming us at the basket," Williams said. "Then they started knocking down threes. They scored 38 points in the fourth quarter and that's just unacceptable. â¦ Bottom line is we have to play better defense."
The Pelicans were playing back-to-back after a 116-95 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. This was their fourth game in five nights and they looked weary down the stretch.
"There is no excuse," Williams said. "â¦ [But] that's on me. I've got guys out there playing their butts off and I have to do a better job of putting those guys in position."
Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 29 points and 15 rebounds. Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans added 19 points as the Pelicans (3-6) lost their third straight game.
"We couldn't get stops," Evans said. "They ran the pick-and-roll. They got into the paint and they made threes."
Before the game, Williams was asked about Davis, his emerging star who bounced back superbly from sub-par outings against Phoenix and the Lakers.
"I love the fact he's improved," Williams said. "I also love the fact he has this lack of satisfaction. He doesn't want to stop working. He wants to be even better. He'd be the first two admit the last two games were ones he'd like to forget â¦ because he's set the bar so high."