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3 keys in the Utah Jazz’s OT win over the New Orleans Pelicans

SHARE 3 keys in the Utah Jazz’s OT win over the New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans Naji Marshall loses the ball to the Utah Jazz Lauri Markkanen in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. The Jazz won in overtime 132-129.

The New Orleans Pelicans Naji Marshall loses the ball to the Utah Jazz Lauri Markkanen in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. The Jazz won in overtime 132-129.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 132-129 in overtime on Thursday night at Vivint Arena.

The Jazz trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter but made a late run that kept things tight. They took a lead late in the fourth quarter, but the Pelicans equalized with two seconds left in regulation.

Kelly Olynyk inbounded the ball with a lob to Lauri Markkanen, but his shot was blocked by Larry Nance Jr., sending the game into overtime.

The block by Nance was originally called a goaltend, which would have given the Jazz the win in regulation, but after review the officials said the block was good.

In overtime, a couple of late missed free throws from Mike Conley put the game in question, but the Jazz were able to hold on to get the overtime win.

Here are three keys that contributed to the Jazz’s victory:

  • Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen combined for 70 points. Clarkson scored a season-high 39, 17 of which came in the first quarter alone. He went 7 of 14 from 3-point range and added eight rebounds and two steals.

Markkanen finished with 31 points, including going 5 of 9 from deep.

  • The Jazz got important and big minutes from the bench, and especially from Malik Beasley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Walker Kessler. Beasley chipped in 17 points for the reserve unit, while Alexander-Walker was tasked with handling tough defensive assignments, including long stretches on C.J. McCollum.

Kessler, whom Jazz head coach Will Hardy had close the game both in regulation and in overtime, played a career-high 28 minutes and finished with 11 points and three blocks.

  • Midway through the third quarter, the Jazz seemed to be just going through the motions and the Pelicans were in control of everything happening. But the Jazz’s defense dug in at the end of the third and sparked a completely different mood on the team and in the arena.

If not for their run at that point to eliminate the Pelicans’ lead, the Jazz might not have been able to take away another win against New Orleans.