NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis wasn't about to leave the court with any regrets.
Davis had missed eight of his first 13 shots, but the score was tied as New Orleans' game against Utah entered the final minute, and the Pelicans' front-court star didn't hesitate to assert himself.
"I feel like as a leader of the team that's my responsibility," Davis said. "At some point in time, you've got to take over a game."
Davis capped a 19-point night with a running left-handed hook and 3-pointer in the final minute, and New Orleans beat Utah 100-96 on Wednesday night to snap the Jazz's seven-game winning streak.
"I just shot the ball with confidence and tried to play hard, knowing that all the shots I took were good shots," Davis said.
Jrue Holiday scored 21 points for the Pelicans, who won their second straight. Davis scored all but three of his points in the second half. His running hook from about 5 feet out gave New Orleans a 94-92 lead with 59 seconds remaining. His 3 made it 97-93 with 35 seconds left.
Derrick Favors scored 29 and Gordon Hayward 21 for Utah, but each missed a free throw in the final minute.
Rodney Hood added 15 for Utah, but the Jazz turned the ball over 17 times and missed 14 of 21 shots from 3-point range in Utah's final game before the All-Star break.
"Tough night for us, but overall we're playing good basketball and we've got a lot of confidence going into the break, Hayward said. "They were physical down the stretch. We couldn't get the stops when we needed them tonight and (there were) too many turnovers also in the second half for us. We still battled and just came up a little short."
Norris Cole had 11 points for New Orleans, including a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left to give New Orleans a five-point lead.
Shortly before tipoff, the Pelicans learned of the death of Ingrid Williams, the wife of former Pelicans head coach Monty Williams, who was fired after last season despite leading the club to the playoffs. Ingrid Williams died in a car crash in Oklahoma City, where the family relocated when Monty Williams was hired as a top Thunder assistant.
Jrue Holiday, who played two seasons for Williams, said the news appeared to undermine the Pelicans' focus early in the game.
"The players that were here with Monty and their family definitely felt it," Holiday said. "Obviously we're all blessed to play the game of basketball but family comes before that. And I know most of the guys were thinking about our families, thinking about his family."
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said the team said a prayer for Williams' family in the locker room before the game and the arena's public address announcer asked for a moment of silence before tip-off.
Davis, who became close to Williams during his first three NBA seasons — and also during the Olympics and the FIBA World Cup, with Williams serving as a Team USA assistant — made it known through team spokesmen that he would "respectfully" decline to comment on Ingrid Williams' death.
However, he said in a tweet: "Completely devastated. Ingrid Williams was like a 2nd mother to me when I got to NOLA. My thoughts & prayers are with Monty & the family."
EMPTYING THE TANK
Despite coming off an overtime victory in Dallas a night earlier, Utah led much of the game and did not appear tired until the final minutes.
The Jazz made 12 of 15 shots in the third quarter, turning a two-point halftime deficit to a lead as large as seven after consecutive driving dunks by Hayward and Trevor Booker.
Rudy Gobert had nine of his 12 points in the third quarter, and Utah took a 77-71 lead into the final period. Utah briefly bumped its lead up to 79-71 on Hayward's short jumper before the Pelicans responded with an 8-0 run to tie it.
Holiday and Alexis Ajinca each scored four points during the game-tying surge, which set up an tense, back-and fourth final eight minutes during which neither team led by more than two until the final minute.
"Obviously (Tuesday) night took something out of us," Jazz coach Quinn Snyder said.
Jazz: Utah also saw a road winning streak end after three games. ... Hood did not score at least 23 points for the first time in four games.
Pelicans: Guard Tyreke Evans missed his eighth straight game with a right knee injury that was initially diagnosed as tendinitis but now might require surgery. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Evans is seeking a second opinion. "There is a possibility that it's something that could keep him out the rest of the season," Gentry said earlier Wednesday. "We won't know that until the opinions are gathered and the information is processed."
Jazz: Visits Washington on Feb. 18.
Pelicans: Visits Oklahoma City on Thursday night.
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Posted on Thu, February 11, 2016
by BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer