Very nice poster to end the weekend with this “home opener” of the Pelicans, who welcome the surprise team of the first week of the season, the Jazz. Two teams from the West still undefeated, with different ambitions this season but which have been offering pleasant basketball since the start of the season.
And as expected, the two teams actually offer a good game from the start. The offensive rhythm is high, without the players forgetting the defense, and the minutes pass very quickly as we take pleasure in this game. Throughout the first half, there is still a momentum clearly established in favor of the Jazz, which in the continuity of its brilliant start to the season makes the Pelicans drool, with a game so uninhibited that it is painful to maneuver.
Lauri Markkanen, with 20 points and 6 rebounds, is once again the most visible for his team, and he is well supported by a Jarred Vanderbilt in mode energizer (15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals). And so, under the impetus of the two wingers, the Jazzmen are quite logically in the lead at the break (63-53), while the Pelicans limit the damage thanks to their leaders (33 points from the McCollum – Ingram – Williamson trio) and to the fast game, which compensates for a starving outside address (18 points on counter-attack and 3/13 behind the arc).
Back from the locker room, the physiognomy of the match is not shaken up: Lauri Markkanen maintains the pressure on the defense of the Pelicans, and the latter are still handicapped by an address behind the arc to absent subscribers. And despite the continued rise of Zion Williamson in the third quarter, Willie Green’s men are more and more distanced: up to +17 (102-85) at the start of the last act!
The CJ McCollum vs. Jordan Clarkson refereed by… Kelly Olynyk
Paradoxically, it is the return to the bench of Zion Williamson, victim of a bad fall, which will completely revive the Pelicans in the fourth quarter. The locals are indeed relying on CJ McCollum, who plants 9 points in a “garbage time” suddenly become “money-time”, to start a “recovery”, by abusing in particular the naive defense of the Jazz to go up to the score. The New Orleans troop even comes close to victory, but Jordan Clarkson sends an improbable pellet behind the arc, of which he alone has the secret, to send everyone into overtime (110-110)!
In the extra period of play, the showdown between the two backs continues: CJ McCollum adds 8 additional points, when Jordan Clarkson validates another award-winning shot, to save the day for his team…
And finally, while the Pelicans have a small unit lead (121-120) less than 10 seconds from the end of the game, it’s Kelly Olynyk who steals the show. The interior with long hair takes advantage of a “switch” to find himself facing… CJ McCollum, less comfortable defending than attacking. After a few dribbles with their backs to the basket, the Canadian manages to score an easy basket under the circle and gives victory to the Jazz, the third in as many games (122-121).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Shortened match for Brandon Ingram. Hit in the face by an involuntary nudge from his teammate Naji Marshall in the second quarter, the Pelicans winger joined the locker room and never returned. A decision motivated by the fact that “BI” felt symptoms similar to those of a concussion, according to information transmitted by local commentators during the meeting… He finished with 10 points in 11 minutes.
– Zion Williamson injured. The strong winger injured his posterior, and he did not finish the match. After the meeting, the medical staff spoke of a contusion in the hip, without giving more details.
– The “old people” of Jazz are resisting. You had to see it to believe it, but it was Jordan Clarkson (18 points and 6 assists) and Kelly Oklynyk (20 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists) who saved the Jazz from the middle of the fourth quarter. , when the Pelicans began a furious comeback. The first plants the winning shot for the equalizer in regulation time, when the second, after showing his advantage in the third quarter, scores the winning basket. This Jazz is funny built, but damn fun!
TOPS & FLOPS
✅ Jazz. Brilliant for three quarters, they almost cracked in the last act before being saved by their veterans. The Jazz players signed an improbable match, but as has been the case since the start of their season, they ended up winning. This team is endearing, shows character and above all plays good basketball! It’s sometimes winded and very improvised, but it never gives up. A “League Pass team” par excellence.
✅ Lauri Markkanen. After collectively congratulating the Jazz, a special dedication to Lauri Markkanen is in order. The Finn, author of 31 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, was once again the best Jazzman. We can possibly, if we want to look for the little beast, regret a discreet “money-time”, but the victory is at the end so it is not important. Especially since the Jazz certainly loses this meeting without its XXL first half.
⛔ The external address of the Pelicans: 8/27! Difficult to win in these conditions, even if seeing the glass half full, we say to ourselves that victory was not so far away, after a stunning fourth quarter. But more broadly, the Pelicans’ spacing may be a concern for the rest of the regular season, since the club’s offense operates around a trio of dominant players at mid-range and in the paint. And with the exception of shooter Trey Murphy III, who scored three award-winning shots, the “Pels” don’t have many options to space play.
– Pelicans : second game in a row at home, against Dallas on the night of Monday to Tuesday (1h30).
– Jazz : “back-to-back” in Houston (2h).