New Orleans won for the first time this season when trailing at the start of the fourth quarter.
“We fought all four quarters,” center Jonas Valanciunas said. “We responded to their physicality. We guarded well down the stretch, especially in the fourth quarter. It was huge for us. We need those kinds of games.”
After trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Pelicans surged ahead in the fourth quarter and took a 91-85 lead on a layup by Herbert Jones with 4:45 left.
The Jazz rallied and went back in front on back-to-back baskets by Mitchell. Conley followed with a layup and Rudy Gobert added a free throw, giving Utah a 97-93 lead with 37.5 seconds remaining.
Utah could not hang on. Ingram made a pair of free throws and Graham hit the 3 in transition after Mitchell missed a driving layup in the final seconds.
“I wanted to win,” Graham said. “I didn’t want to go into overtime and give them any energy. (With) the crowd, it’s tough to play here so I was just thinking go for the win.”
Bogdanovic scored five of Utah’s first six baskets – including three 3-pointers – for an 18-10 first-quarter lead.
Alexander-Walker bookended a 13-1 run with a pair of 3-pointers before Utah countered with a 15-2 run, punctuated by Bogdanovic sidestepping a defender to knock down his fourth 3-pointer of the game, to surge back ahead 43-32 midway through the second quarter.
New Orleans erased the deficit as the quarter progressed and took a 46-45 halftime lead on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Hernangomez. The Jazz missed five shots and committed three turnovers over their final eight first-half possessions to open the door for a rally. Utah went scoreless over the final 4 ½ minutes of the first half.
“We’ve established an identity to this team,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We don’t look like that team. That’s where the inconsistency lies. I think we know how we need to play. It’s just a question of us executing.”
The Jazz and Pelicans will play again on Saturday night.
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Watch Graham drain game-winning 3-pointer, Pelicans upset Jazz originally appeared on NBCSports.com
Source: Yahoo Sports