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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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But the Pelicans responded despite playing an unusual lineup that was sitting at the end of the bench earlier this season before the team was decimated with injuries. Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith — a group that averages nearly 60 points a game combined — all are sidelined.

New Orleans turned to Morrow, who trimmed the Jazz advantage to 82-79 on a jumper in the lane with 7:16 to play. Morrow also had a dozen points in the fourth quarter on 5-for-5 shooting to give the Pelicans a chance. The guard has scored at least 17 points in five of his past six games.

The Jazz again built the lead to 10 points when Hayward made a pair of free throws. The Pelicans then made their last-gasp comeback that fell just short.

On one play in the third quarter, Davis blocked Favors' shot and then saved the ball from going out of bounds. But as the two big men pursued the ball, Davis was sandwiched between Favors and the fans courtside. Davis gingerly ran back on offense and soon after left the court to be evaluated.

The training staff confirmed Davis had back spasms but he returned to play in the fourth quarter, but wasn't on the court when the Pelicans made their final push.

"He wanted to play and I just said no. We're not in the playoffs. Every game for me is a championship game, but I've got to be smart," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.

Davis played only 11 minutes against the Nuggets and his absence was felt as the Pelicans allowed season highs in points (137) and field goal shooting (56.5).

After three days' rest at home, the Jazz also took advantage with 51.6 percent shooting.

"We talked about being able to finish games and we still have the energy to compete. It's been a long year for these guys and we've been through a lot," Utah coach Ty Corbin said.

Notes: Stiemsma got a technical foul for arguing with the officials midway through the third period. ... The Pelicans have lost 12 of 15 on the road. ... After a long slump, Hayward is averaging 21 points a game in his past six.