The Utah Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 127-105 on Saturday night at Vivint Arena.

High notes

  • After Friday’s loss to the Pelicans, the Jazz were left pretty despondent and embarrassed. I mean, I didn’t even give them any “high notes” on Friday because their performance was so bad against a team that came into the night with just four wins to their name on the season. But the Jazz seemed to take all the criticism and bad feelings from Friday night and turn it into motivation in what was probably their best all-around game of the year. The Jazz absolutely rocked the Pelicans, and they never let up.
    “The things that were different tonight from last night are the things that we need to have focus on and continue to make it important no matter who we’re playing, whatever the score is.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
  • Donovan Mitchell had been going through a bit of an offensive slump recently, but he broke out of it on Saturday. He had eight points, three rebounds, five assists in the first quarter alone, quickly putting himself in possible triple-double territory (which would be the first regular season one for the Jazz since Carlos Boozer’s 2008 triple-double). Mitchell probably would have been able to get to the triple-double if not for the fact that the Jazz were leading by 40 points with about eight minutes left in the game. The starters had no reason to be on the court and got some well-deserved rest while the end-of-bench players got some run. Mitchell finished with a game-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists.
  • Mike Conley played in both games of the back-to-back set against the Pelicans, and he looked great. I feel like it’s a pretty smart move for the Jazz to allow him this one since it was a home-and-home set. No travel, low minutes in the second game, no reason to hold him out, especially since the Jazz were down a player. He was one of three Jazz players (Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson the others) to score 20 points or more in this one.
  • That player the Jazz were without was Royce O’Neale, who is nursing a minor ankle sprain. You might be thinking, “Sarah, why is this in the ‘high notes’ section?” Well, O’Neale’s injury is not serious and there’s not really any fear about him being out for a prolonged amount of time and the Jazz being forced to play without their best perimeter defender was a nice challenge considering how poor the defense was on Friday. The Jazz rose to that challenge. Playing well without someone as important as O’Neale can be a real confidence booster for a team like the Jazz, who needed reminding that they are a lethal team and have the talent across their roster to shut teams out.
  • It was pretty clear early in the game on Saturday that the Jazz were picking up the defensive effort. Though they made a ton of shots, they were awarded those good looks, in large part, because their defense was in control throughout the night. They were getting back in transition, switching cleanly, and making life really hard for the Pels once they were in the half court. 
  • The offense looked good right out of the gate, too. The Jazz’s ball movement has been pretty abysmal at times this season and it makes them have to work so much harder for open looks when the ball is sticking. That wasn’t the case on Saturday. They were swinging the ball around and getting off the ball quickly and it gave them a ton of open looks, which they were hitting at an incredible rate. The Jazz shot 57.1% from 3-point land.
    “They did a good job just playing with more force. You could see right away that they were attacking, all their guys getting into the paint, kicking out. The big difference tonight was they made 3s. I thought their shot-making deflated us.” — Pelicans head coach Willie Green

More than anything else, the Jazz looked like they were having fun out there on Saturday and that’s a big difference from the way things have been.

Low notes

  • O’Neale being out but the Jazz responding is a good thing, but obviously we don’t wish bad things on anyone and having a player out for any kind of injury is not great. Just happened that the Jazz were able to overcome things.
  • Hassan Whiteside fouled out of the game after playing just under 18 minutes. Kind of feels like I should use the shrug emoji here.

Flat notes

  • The Pelicans made just two 3-pointers prior to garbage time. They still had a lot of attempts, but so many of them were ill advised. The deep bench ended up hitting a few and they finished the game 8-of-35 from the 3-point line, but man was it bleak.