NEW ORLEANS — Forward Tyreke Evans scored 22 points and guard Anthony Morrow 20 as the New Orleans Pelicans overcame an early injury to All-Star forward Anthony Davis to defeat the Utah Jazz 102-95 on Friday night.
Forward Al-Farouq Aminu added 13 points for the Pelicans, who won a season-high fifth consecutive game heading into a Saturday night matchup at San Antonio.
Guard Austin Rivers and forward Darius Miller scored 12 points each and center Alexis Ajinca, filling in for Davis, had nine points and 10 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
The Jazz, who have lost three consecutive games and 13 of their past 15, were led by guard Gordon Hayward. He overcame a shaky first half to finish with 21 points. Center Derrick Favors added 18 points and 11 rebounds. Point guard Trey Burke and forward Marvin Wiliams contributed 12 points each.
Davis injured his ankle early in the first quarter and did not return.
The Jazz trailed 72-66 entering the fourth quarter but cut the deficit to 80-79 with 4:16 remaining, holding the Pelicans scoreless for more than three minutes. The Pelicans answered with a Miller jumper and Evans 3-pointer after a Jefferson miss to give the Pelicans an 85-79 lead with 3:03 remaining.
Ajinca’s 3-point play with 56.7 seconds remaining boosted the Pelicans’ lead to 90-83.
With Davis’ early exit and guards Eric Gordon and Brian Roberts already sidelined, Evans and Morrow were able to pick up the scoring void in the first half. Evans scored 13 points and Morrow eight in leading the Pelicans to a 43-38 halftime lead.
In Anthony’s absence, Favors took advantage of a more favorable matchup with Ajinca, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven of Utah’s 15 rebounds.
Hayward struggled in the half, going 1-of-6 from the field and scoring five points. He missed all five of his shots in the first quarter.
After Davis’ injury, the Jazz ended the first quarter on a 15-10 run to take a 22-20 lead. New Orleans committed two turnovers and missed four shots on its first six possession after Davis went down. Favors scored eight points in the quarter.
But New Orleans rebounded in the second quarter, putting together a 19-9 run to take a 39-31 lead with less than four minutes left. Evans scored nine of his 13 first-half points during the run.
Utah committed three consecutive turnovers late in the second quarter, beginning with a steal and ending with a charge. The Pelicans turned two of those into four points.
NOTES: An ankle injury forced Hornets F Anthony Davis to the sideline with 8:17 remaining in the first quarter and New Orleans leading 10-7. His departure left the Pelicans with nine available players, the same number in a 98-96 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. … Hornets G Eric Gordon was listed as a probable starter but did not dress. … Utah overcame a 16-point deficit to defeat the Pelicans 111-105 in November in Salt Lake City. It is the largest deficit the Jazz has overcome this season in a victory. … G/F Gordon Hayward could be become the second player in Jazz history with 16-plus points, five-plus rebounds and five-plus assists in a season. The only player in franchise history to achieve that feat is Hall of Famer Pete Maravich, who played all but 17 games with the Jazz while the franchise was in New Orleans.
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