Jazz slip past Pelicans for 100-96 victory

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 5, 2014 at 12:09 am •  Published: April 5, 2014
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gordon Hayward knows the Utah Jazz have their best chance to win when they play together and share the ball.

Victories haven't come easy for the Jazz during this rebuilding season.

"We realize we're not there yet individually, where we can just play for ourselves and still win. We need to play as a team," Hayward said.

Alec Burks and Hayward each scored 21 points and the Jazz held off the New Orleans Pelicans 100-96 on Friday night to snap a five-game skid.

The Jazz had 22 assists on their 33 baskets and several other unselfish passes led to 35 attempts from the free throw line.

Burks had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter and Hayward added eight final-period points. The Jazz needed all of it to overcome the reeling Pelicans, who played without Anthony Davis down the stretch due to back spasms.

"Alec attacks the rim and he's got to be one of the best in the league at driving to the basket," Hayward said. "He finishes so well that he scores or gets fouls almost every time."

Two exceptions occurred in the waning moments — swarming Pelicans forced Burks to travel and then Greg Stiemsma blocked Burks' layup. Anthony Morrow, who had a game-high 26 points, hit a 3-pointer to draw New Orleans within 95-93.

Hayward made one of two free throws and the Pelicans drew a play that produced a wide-open shot for Darius Miller that rimmed out.

"That's exactly what we wanted. We had Tyreke (Evans) with the ball looking to find a shooter and he found Darius. It was the best look we could ask for, and it just didn't go in," Brian Roberts said.

Roberts made another 3 with 1.7 seconds remaining, but Hayward and Burks each made two more free throws to clinch the victory for the Jazz. Burks made all 13 of his free throw attempts.

Derrick Favors had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz. He thrived without Davis playing at full strength.

"There was more room in the post," Favors said. "We had people move around instead of standing still, so it was a big help."

Roberts had 18 points while Davis finished with eight points and six rebounds in 23 minutes as the Pelicans dropped their fourth straight following a five-game win streak.

The game was tight throughout, but the Jazz extended their lead to double digits near the end of the third when Hayward hit a 3 and followed with another jumper to make it 73-63.

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