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Multiple contributions, Jazz victory make for a 'fun' night for Utah coach Quin Snyder

NEW ORLEANS — Quin Snyder doesn’t use the word “fun” all that often, but it seemed quite appropriate Monday night.

Rising star Gordon Hayward had yet another big game — 32 points, eight assists and seven rebounds — in the team’s 100-96 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

But it was the contributions of some unheralded players that made the night extra rewarding for a coach who hasn’t had many wins to celebrate during his first year on the job.

“This was one of those ones, it was a fun game,” Snyder said.

He loved that Steve Novak played a key role, hitting four 3-pointers for 12 points, after only seeing action in 20 games all season.

He enjoyed seeing fill-in starter and recent D-League call-up Elijah Millsap pick up his defensive effort in the second half on Tyreke Evans.

He liked that rarely used guard Ian Clark came in and had a blocked shot (his only stat) in a close fourth quarter.

“Everybody got in and had a contribution,” Snyder said.

The Jazz coach added that on a night when Trey Burke struggled (0-for-10 shooting) the win was “a credit to some of the guys who are helping play those minutes.”

TOUGH GUARD: Millsap got his second start playing in his home state, and it was a rough go for the first half.

His man, Pelicans’ explosive scorer/athlete Evans, went off for 16 points in the first half and looked like he might be off to a huge night.

After hitting 6 of 10 shots in the first half, Evans missed all but one of his seven second-half field goal attempts and finished with 18 points.

Snyder said the Jazz changed their defensive approach in the second half by not sending their bigs so far out on pick-and-rolls to help clog the paint. That took slashing room from Evans.

And Snyder credited Paul Millsap’s younger brother for improving his effort after halftime, too.

“Elijah turned it up like everyone did. He was aggressive on the ball, but he was smart,” Snyder said. “He’s learning to defend without his hands, just to be physical.”

Snyder credited Jazz bigs for communicating with Millsap as well, letting him know “we got your back” while guarding the explosive Evans.

“As a result, he was even more aggressive,” Snyder said of the 27-year-old rookie. "I wouldn’t want him guarding me.”

JAZZ NOTES: Rookie Rodney Hood is on this road trip with the team. He hopes to be medically cleared from his left foot injury during the All-Star break. Several dozen fans, children and adults shrieked and waved signs that read “HOOD” in an effort to get his attention late in the game. The group made the three-hour trip down from Hood’s hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. … Rookie shooting guard Joe Ingles missed his second-consecutive game with lower back muscle spasms but is with the Jazz. ... Novak scored 12 points, marking the first time he hit double figures with Utah. His previous season-high was nine points. ... Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette only played eight seconds, missing his only shot, in the Pelicans’ loss.

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