Jazz continue mastery over Davis-less Pelicans
LOS ANGELES, USA – Rudy Gobert paced the attack as the Utah Jazz handed the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans their first loss of the NBA season with a 132-111 win on Saturday, October 27 (Sunday October 28, Manila time).
Leading scorer Anthony Davis was missing from the Pelicans offense because of a strained right elbow.
France's Gobert finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds and Spain's Ricky Rubio had 28 points and 12 assists for the Jazz, who beat the Pelicans 3 out of 4 times last season.
"When Ricky plays like that, it's hard to lose," said Gobert. "We've got a lot of guys that can score and when Ricky starts to make the right play and puts even more pressure on the defense, it's hard to guard for sure."
American Donovan Mitchell scored 22 for Utah, which led by as many as 28 points in the 3rd quarter and were ahead 102-82 at the start of the 4th in front of a crowd of 16,300 at the Smoothie King Center arena.
Davis played through the elbow injury on Friday against Brooklyn but couldn't go against the Jazz and his status for Monday's contest in Denver will be determined after he visits the team doctors.
"There's not any long-term concern," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "He came in today and tried to shoot at shoot-around, and there was a still a little bit of pain. I'm not going to risk anything over one game."
The Pelicans cut the Jazz lead to 110-102 on Wesley Johnson's three-pointer with 6:34 left. But Rubio responded with 6 free throws during a 10-2 Jazz run.
Nikola Mirotic scored 15 of his 25 points in the 1st quarter and Jrue Holiday had 18 for the Pelicans, who had not trailed by more than 13 points in the previous 4 games.
In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points and Khris Middleton had 18 as the Bucks won their sixth straight game with a 113-91 win over the Orlando Magic.
Milwaukee needs one more win to equal their franchise record of 7 straight to start the season in 1971-72.
Antetokounmpo also had 7 rebounds in 19 minutes of playing time.
Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and nine rebounds for Orlando. D.J. Augustin added 11, all in the first half.
The Magic shot 32 percent from the field overall and 23 percent from three-point range.
Boston Celtics def. Detroit Pistons, 109-89
Utah Jazz def. New Orleans Pelicams, 132-11
Chicago Bulls def. Atlanta Hawks, 97-85
Indiana Pacers def. Cleveland Cavaliers, 119-107
Philadelphia 76ers def. Charlotte Hornets, 105-103
Memphis Grizzlies def. Phoenix Sunda, 117-96
Miami Heat def. Prtland Blazers, 120-11
Milwaukee Bucks def. Orlando Magic, 113-91