Favors scored 28, paces Jazz past Pelicans, 106-94
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Derrick Favors' dominance in the paint saved the Utah Jazz from losing yet another game in which they'd squandered a double-digit lead.
Favors had 28 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, and the Jazz snapped a five-game losing streak with a 106-94 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
''It was a game we definitely needed,'' said Favors, whose style of play was described as ''angry'' by teammates. ''I just wanted to win.''
New Orleans not only lost its fourth straight game, but might have lost guard Eric Gordon for the rest of the season after his collision with Rudy Gobert resulted in a fractured his right ring finger - just eight days after he'd returned from the same injury.
''He worked so hard to get back and I really thought he was playing good basketball,'' Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said of Gordon, who had averaged nearly 23 points in his first three games back from the initial injury. ''So for that to happen to him again ... that's really unfortunate.''
Utah's victory pulled the Jazz one game behind Houston - which lost in Chicago - for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
In Utah's previous three games, the Jazz had led by as many as 13 points in Boston, 12 in Toronto and 14 in Memphis, only to lose all three contests.
After Utah had raced to a 14-point lead in the second quarter, the Pelicans chipped away until tying the game at 70 in the third on Anthony Davis' 3.
''We've been in this situation before. We just kept attacking,'' Favors said. ''Gordon (Hayward) made good plays. Everybody made good plays, really. Just ran up the score.''
Hayward, who scored 24 points, initiated a pivotal 14-0 run with a driving floater. Favors followed that with a 16-foot jump shot.
Soon after, Toney Douglas was whistled for a flagrant foul when he sent Hayward tumbling toward the basket on an attempted fast-break layup. Hayward was fine, and the Jazz looked fired up.
Hayward hit both free throws, after which the Jazz kept possession and went up 78-70 on Favors' layup. Favors also added a 9-foot jumper during the surge.
Utah steadily widened its lead to 18 when Favors hit a layup, a put-back dunk and two free throws in succession in the fourth quarter, and New Orleans only briefly got as close as nine points after that.
Davis had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, but missed 20 of 31 shots. Jrue Holiday scored 22 for New Orleans, but missed 13 of 22 shots.
''We've just got to keep believing and keep staying together,'' Davis said. ''This is not a time where we start falling apart. We've got to come closer and keep fighting and whatever happens, happens.''
Gobert grabbed 18 rebounds, one short of his season high, while Favors' block total was also one short of a season high. Utah finished with 10 blocked shots as a team, including two by Gobert.
DOING FAVORS A FAVOR
Davis said the Pelicans' defensive approach had placed more emphasis on containing Hayward and Rodney Hood, who are two of Utah's top three scorers. That provided an opening for Favors to assert himself more.
''He got some easy looks,'' Davis said. ''It's tough when they've got three guys who can score the ball, you can't take everything away. But he's a good player. He made tough shots. He made some great moves tonight, so hats off to him.''
Jazz: Shelvin Mack and Trevor Booker each scored 11 for Utah, which outshot New Orleans 47 percent (37 of 78) to 41 percent (38 of 92). ... The Jazz won for the 10th time this season on the road, where Utah had lost six straight, starting with a loss in New Orleans on Feb. 10. ... The visit to New Orleans marked the end of a four-game road trip on which the Jazz went 1-3.
Pelicans: C Omer Asik returned to the lineup following a five-game absence because of a right ankle sprain. He had four points and six rebounds in nearly 25 minutes. ... Davis set a franchise record with his 128th game in which he scored at least 10 points and grabbed at least 10 rebounds in the same game.
Jazz: Host Atlanta on Tuesday night.
Pelicans: Host Sacramento on Monday night.