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(Friday, March 28th)
Final Score: New Orleans 102, Utah 95
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyreke Evans supplied 22 points and a career-high 15 assists, as the New Orleans Pelicans picked up a 102-95 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday at Smoothie King Center.
Anthony Morrow registered 20 points, while Al-Farouq Aminu added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Pelicans, who have won five straight.
Gordon Hayward had 21 points, while Derrick Favors scored 18 points and grabbed 11 boards for the Jazz, who have lost three straight and nine of their last 10 games.
"We can always be better," Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We made some mistakes and that happens, but these guys are fighting and they are giving it what they have."
Hayward's pullup jumper with 4:20 to play pulled Utah within 80-79, but Darius Miller drained a jumper and Morrow followed with a 3-pointer to push the Pelicans' lead to six with 3:05 left.
Trey Burke's layup got Utah as close as four with 1:14 left before Alexis Ajinca answered with a three-point play and Aminu added a pair of free throws for a nine-point lead with 45.5 seconds left, essentially sealing the outcome.
"Different guys stepped up again and our defense was a lot better in the first (half) than the second for sure, but it was good enough to win the game," New Orleans head coach Monty Williams said.
Early on, neither team led by more than five in a tightly-contested first frame that featured eight of the game's nine lead changes and ended with Utah clinging to a 22-20 lead.
Evans carried New Orleans in the second, netting nine points and dishing out five assists to help the Pelicans outscore the Jazz 23-16 in the second and take a 43-38 lead at the break.
Utah pulled even three times in the third, including at 54-54 following an Enes Kanter layup with 6:47 on the clock, but the Pelicans answered with a 13-6 swing that Austin Rivers capped with a triple for a 67-60 lead with 2:31 left in the frame.
New Orleans carried a 72-66 spread into the fourth and pushed the margin as high as eight on a Miller trey before Utah roared back with a 7-0 sprint to get within 80-79 with under 4 1/2 minutes left.
New Orleans forward Anthony Davis left the game in the first quarter with a left ankle injury ... New Orleans scored 33 points off 19 Utah turnovers ... Both teams registered 26 assists ... Burke finished with 12 points and six assists in the setback ... Miller and Rivers each had 12 points for New Orleans.
03/28 23:56:25 ET