Injury-plagued Pelicans drop home game against the Jazz

Jim Eichenhofer
The Pelicans' Eric Gordon. Photo by NBA.com.

In reminiscent fashion to last season’s injury-marred campaign, the Pelicans played Monday without their first-, third- and fourth-leading scorers. Yet, through a large portion of the Western Conference matchup with the Jazz, they still appeared as though they might prevail.

New Orleans led by as many as 14 points in the second half before Utah mounted a pivotal 21-3 run in the third quarter that gave the visitors a 71-67 edge.

The Jazz capitalized on the absence of Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson by posting a solid road win at the Smoothie King Center, where the Pelicans had won 17 of their 25 previous games.

Gordon Hayward capped an impressive individual second-half barrage by sinking two free throws with eight seconds left, giving Utah a two-possession edge at 100-96.

Hayward only had seven points at halftime, but went on a shooting tear after intermission, scoring 25 points and finishing with a game-high 32.