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Jazz 100, Pelicans 96

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SALT LAKE CITY — Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks each scored 21 points and hit several key free throws in the final minute to help the Utah Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 100-96 on Friday night.

Derrick Favors had 20 points and nine rebounds for Utah (24-52), which won for just the second time in its last eight home games and snapped a five-game losing streak.

Anthony Morrow scored 26 points off the bench and Brian Roberts added 15 for the Pelicans (32-44), who lost their fourth straight.

After trailing at halftime, Favors swung momentum in Utah’s direction with a huge third quarter. He scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field in the quarter. Favors took advantage of a hole left inside when back spasms flared up for Pelicans forward Anthony Davis at halftime and he did not return to the court until the fourth quarter.

With Favors powering Utah’s offensive engine, the Jazz went on a 13-2 run to seize the lead. Favors ignited the spurt with three straight baskets culminating with a tip-in of a missed jumper by guard Gordon Hayward. Once Marvin Williams finished the run with a layup, Utah led 60-53.

The Jazz built a 10-point advantage after Hayward made back-to-back baskets to put Utah up 73-63 in the final minute of the third quarter.

New Orleans mounted a rally in the fourth quarter. The Pelicans trimmed the lead to three points on three separate occasions behind baskets from Morrow. They trailed 82-79 after a floater from Morrow with 7:16 left. Kanter scored a layup to keep New Orleans from getting closer.

Then Hayward and Burks combined to each score a basket and two free throws to push Utah’s lead to 93-83 with 3:18 remaining.

The Pelicans made it interesting in the final minute after Morrow drained a pull-up 3-pointer to make it 95-93 with 17.9 seconds left. Hayward and Burks combined to make five free throws in the final 13.5 seconds to seal the win.

Utah surged in front late in the first quarter with efficient shooting. The Jazz shot 50 percent in the quarter and it helped them overtake Pelicans after quelling repeated spurts. They staked a 21-18 lead after Burks converted a three-point play to cap an 8-0 run.

New Orleans regained control in the second quarter after holding Utah without a basket for nearly five minutes. The Pelicans used a 13-2 spurt to turn a four-point deficit into an seven-point lead. Darius Miller capped the run with a 3-pointer to give New Orleans a 40-33 with 4:07 left before halftime.

Burks helped Utah get going again, scoring on a running layup to break a drought that lasted 4:46 after Jeremy Evans converted an alley-oop dunk to give the Jazz a 31-27 lead.

The Jazz went back ahead 43-41 on a hook shot from Kanter just before halftime — setting the stage for Favors’ third-quarter outburst.

NOTES: Tyreke Evans has flourished as a starter for the Pelicans. Coming into Friday’s game, he averaged 20.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 16 starts. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter combined for 43 double-doubles this season before facing New Orleans. … The Pelicans lead the NBA in blocked shots with 6.4 per game.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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