NBA regular season

Jordan Clarkson erupts for 39 points to lift Jazz past Pelicans in OT

Reuters
Jordan Clarkson erupts for 39 points to lift Jazz past Pelicans in OT

SEASON HIGH. Jordan Clarkson gives the Jazz a big lift in a close win over the Pelicans.

Jeffrey Swinger/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jordan Clarkson and the Jazz pick up back-to-back wins over the Pelicans, who lose the top spot in the Western Conference

Jordan Clarkson scored 39 points and Lauri Markkanen added 31, including a pair of clutch free throws, to lift the Utah Jazz to a gutsy 132-129 overtime home win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, December 15 (Friday, December 16, Manila time).

Malik Beasley contributed 17 points and Kelly Olynyk totaled 14 points and 7 rebounds as Utah earned a second home win in three nights against the Pelicans.

Zion Williamson amassed 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, and CJ McCollum fired in 28 points for the Pelicans, who came into this two-game set on a seven-game winning streak. The Jazz clinched the season series 3-0 with the consecutive victories.

Utah held a five-point lead with 34.1 seconds left in overtime after a putback bucket and a free throw a minute apart from Walker Kessler. The rookie had 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

Williamson cut the deficit to 3 with a power drive and the Pelicans caught a break when Mike Conley missed 2 free throws. The veteran Jazz guard and Clarkson then hounded McCollum, forcing him into a rushed three-point miss.

Markkanen grabbed the rebound and clinched the win with 2 free throws in the final seconds.

The game was sent into overtime after a goaltending call on Larry Nance Jr. was overturned after a long referee review. Nance soared to block a short shot by Markkanen, who caught the inbound pass from Olynyk and in one motion fired up the potential game-winner with less than two seconds remaining.

Utah held a three-point lead after Conley hit a pair of free throws with 12.1 seconds remaining, but the Pelicans hauled in an offensive rebound after McCollum missed a three. Trey Murphy, who had 12 points, then tied the game with a three-pointer from the corner with 2.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

Utah trailed by 13 in the third quarter and used a late 12-1 run in the final period to turn an eight-point deficit into a 105-102 lead, setting up the tight finish to regulation.

Clarkson scored 17 points in the first quarter to help Utah take a 27-25 lead. New Orleans used a couple of 7-0 surges to go up by 9 before settling on a 62-58 halftime lead.

McCollum and Williamson teamed up for an 8-0 run early in the second half and the Pelicans continued to build on the lead, making it 76-63 after Herbert Jones’ layup. – Rappler.com

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