Rudy Gobert put up a huge game as the Jazz closed out the Pelicans, 108-100, in Salt Lake City.
Gobert finished with 20 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks in his battle down low with Anthony Davis. Rodney Hood scored 20 for Utah, and Joe Ingles added 19 points in the win. The Jazz led by 10 entering the final quarter and kept the Pelicans at bay, improving to 45-and-29.
Davis piled up 36 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks and three steals for New Orleans. DeMarcus Cousins sat out with an ankle sprain.
“I thought they made tough shots," Coach Alvin Gentry said. "They made some really tough shots down the stretch. Every time they got separation we found a way to get ourselves back in it, we just couldn’t get over the hump. I thought we were a little tired, too. I thought at the end we were a little tired, but I thought we defended well and you’ve got to give them credit. They were really challenged shots. It wasn’t so much what we didn’t do, it was more what they did, I thought.”
"We started off slow on the defense and they got too many easy looks under the basket and open threes," said Davis.
New Orleans finished 1-2 on a critical three-game road trip, dropping to 4.5 games behind Portland and Denver. With the Trail Blazers and Nuggets playing each other Tuesday, that deficit will increase to 5.0 games regardless of which team wins, with only eight games remaining for the Pelicans.