SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 37 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 28 to help the Utah Jazz overcome the absence of Rudy Gobert and outlast the New Orleans Pelicans 128-120 on Saturday night.
Mitchell, who had six 3-pointers, sparked the Jazz (10-5) to a quick start. Though Utah led the entire game, the Jazz had to quell a late comeback from Pelicans, who had won three in a row and scored 66 points in the second half.
Brandon Ingram scored 33 points and Jrue Holiday had 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter. JJ Redick added 20 points for New Orleans.
Mike Conley, who has been decidedly inconsistent in his first season in Utah, threw an alley-oop to Jeff Green and then hit a 3-pointer to boost Utah to a 122-110 lead with 2:15 left in the game.
Conley was 1-for-8 to that point but looked off Mitchell and calmly hit the shot.
The Pelicans had one more run as Ingram hit a 3-pointer with 37.9 remaining to make it 124-120. But Bogdanovic and Green each made pairs of free throws to clinch the game.
Green had 15 points and Tony Bradley 14 points and nine rebounds as they shared the center position in Gobert’s stead.
Lonzo Ball hit a 3-pointer to cap a 15-5 run and bring the Pelicans within 86-78 with 4:36 left in the third quarter. The Jazz then built back a double-digit lead a couple times until Ingram made a 3-pointer with 4:16 to cut the Utah advantage to 113-106.
Ball is on a minutes restriction in his second game back from a groin injury but had 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting in 25 miunutes of play.
Gobert played most of Friday’s win over Golden State with a sprained ankle and had seven blocks in that game but sat against the Pelicans after pre-game warmups showed he was too sore.
Bolstered by two quick 3s by both Bogdanovic and Mitchell, the Jazz scored the first 14 points of the game.
Mitchell had 23 and Bogdanovic poured in 20 points in the first half as the Jazz led 74-54 at the break. Utah posted season-bests for points in a half and points in a game.
Pelicans: Derrick Favors, who played in Utah for eight seasons, didn’t make the trip because of back spasms. … The Pelicans made all of their 17 of their free throws until Redick missed one with 1:59 to play and they finished 19-for-20. … New Orleans had eight steals and forced 18 turnovers.
Jazz: Mitchell got a technical for staring down Nicolo Melli after dunking over him in the second quarter. … A coach’s challenge was successful in the fourth quarter when Ingram kicked out his leg on a 3-pointer and struck Joe ingles, who originally was whistled for a foul. … The Jazz shot 51 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range while outrebounding the Pelicans 49-38.
Pelicans: Play the second half a back-to-back Sunday night at the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jazz: Begin a five-game road trip against the Milwaukee