Pelicans End Jazz’s Streak

The New Orleans Pelicans (20-32) ended the streak of one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Utah Jazz (26-26). The Pelicans were down early, but closed the gap in the first quarter. The game was relatively tight the rest of the way, with the Pelicans finally getting some separation in the closing minutes. They held on for a 100-96 victory on the back of some nice defense and offensive tenacity.

As noted in the pregame, the Pelicans needed to start going to their big men when appropriate, and they did. Ajinca and Asik average a total of 29 minutes per game, and they played a total of 38 minutes tonight, and they played well, adding 12 points on 9 shots and 19 rebounds. There were 6 total fouls, 5 of which were on Ajinca. The team also played very good defense, and the difference in the game may be the 17 Jazz turnovers compared to 9 for the Pelicans. Those because 16 points and 8 points, respectively, in this 4 point game.

In Pelicans news:

  • Tyreke Evans is seeking a second opinion regarding surgery on his knee. It appears he will have season-ending surgery.
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones’ second 10-day contract with the Pelicans has expired. He is seeking a multi-year deal, per Scott Kushner. Other teams are in play, but that could just be a leverage play.

Finally, the news broke before the game in two parts regarding the passing of Mrs. Ingrid Williams due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Oklahoma City. She is survived by ex-Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams and the couple’s 5 children, plus others. The NBA community was pouring out the emotion in a classy and genuine way.

Coach Gentry could not finish his press conference and several of Coach Williams’ former players said their pieces and left it alone. As the Pelicans are traveling to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder, tomorrow will be an emotional day and game, just as this evening was for the guys.

Here is what Coach Gentry said:

It’s really, really tough. Anybody that knows Monty and his family knows the high character and the class that they are. To lose a wife and a mother when you have five kids is such a tragic thing. Our hearts go out to his whole family.

We talked about it before the game. We said a prayer together. It’s just really, really tough when you know a guy like Monty and what he’s all about then you realize that it’s just a basketball game. That’s all it is.

Here were our thoughts on the matter:

People are expressing a ton of sympathy for Coach Monty Williams and his family tonight with very good reason. Coach might say we need to remember that family is so important every day in our own lives and in the world of basketball. Remember that at bottom that this is about people, communities, fun, and the bonds that come with it. Never lose sight of that.

BIG THANKS to everyone for coming together the right way tonight. This is “why.”

The Pelicans play their final game for over a week and until after the trade deadline against the Thunder on TNT Thursday night. The game is at 7 pm CT (UTC -6) and is on the Pelicans Radio Network, 99.5 FM locally.

Also, we are having a watch party at Tracey’s for the game. Come by and let’s see what happens and talk All-Star Break and the trade deadline.

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