SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Anthony Davis had 29 points and 15 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Utah Jazz 108-98 on Wednesday night.
Jrue Holiday carried the offense early with 18 first-half points and finished with 24 for the Pelicans. DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 24 points, and Joe Johnson scored 20 off the bench.
The Pelicans’ 3-point shooting was the difference, as New Orleans went 14-for-30 (46.7 percent) from beyond the arc while the Jazz made just 7 of 32 (21.9 percent).
The game went back and forth before the Pelicans closed the third quarter on a 12-1 run, including seven points from Davis. Dante Cunningham’s three-point play to start the fourth put New Orleans up by 12, its biggest lead. Utah responded with a 9-0 run, but Davis slammed the door with 10 fourth-quarter points.
Pelicans: Cousins left with 8 minutes left in the first quarter after an awkward landing. He went to the locker room before returning about three minutes later.
Jazz: Jonas Jerebko started at power forward after playing just four minutes in Utah’s last game and not at all in the one before that. Coach Quin Snyder has rotated minutes at that spot between Jerebko, Thabo Sefolosha and Ekpe Udoh.
The Jazz and Pelicans face off two more times this season. Utah won the first meeting in December. Synder said head-to-head matchups with teams competing for similar playoff position carry a little more weight.
“They matter. They matter more when you look back on them,” Snyder said. “We play these guys more, too. There’s always more of those, so to speak, until you get late in the year. The players are aware. They know the standings and they know where teams are. I do too.
“But for us, I think it would be a mistake to play a game just for that reason. Our challenge is to be true to who we are and our habits and trying to get better. And hopefully the next time you play them, you’re better and better and better. And maybe you’re in a position where those games actually matter.”
Pelicans: Travel to face Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
Jazz: Travel to face Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Friday.
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