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National Basketball Association
Preview
Utah at New Orleans
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Pelicans are fading out of the Western Conference playoff derby but have a chance to make up ground on one of the teams they need to catch when they host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. New Orleans, which stands 6 1/2 games behind eighth-place Houston and seven back of the No. 7 Jazz, has never recovered from a disastrous 1-11 start.

Utah has won a season-best seven straight games and posted a 121-119 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday when Gordon Hayward drained a buzzer-beating, step-back jumper. "We're learning more and more how to make winning plays," Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters afterward. "Sometimes you make them and it works out. Sometimes you make them and they are unsuccessful. Gordon made the right play and he made the shot." The Pelicans played terrific during Monday's 116-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves as they matched a franchise low by committing four turnovers. New Orleans remains without starting guards Tyreke Evans (knee) and Eric Gordon (broken finger), and All-Star power forward Anthony Davis has been carrying the squad by scoring 20 or more points in 12 of the past 13 games.

TV:
8 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), FSN New Orleans

ABOUT THE JAZZ (26-25): Hayward started slowly against the Mavericks but drilled the game's most important basket and scored six of his 20 points in overtime while stretching his streak of double-digit outings to 24 straight. "I came off the screen and hit the step-back," Hayward said afterward, well aware the shot broke a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. "I got a good look. When you get a good look, sometimes they go in." Power forward Derrick Favors contributed 16 points, eight rebounds and a career-high six assists against the Mavericks and the Jazz are 7-1 since he returned from a 16-game absence because back problems.

ABOUT THE PELICANS (19-32): Backup guard Jrue Holiday joined Davis in scoring 27 points against the Timberwolves and he is averaging 20.6 points over the past eight games. Holiday was on a minutes' restriction for most of the season but the mandate has been relaxed recently because of the backcourt injuries and Holiday's strong play. "It's hard to take a guy out of the game when he's going great and he's got 20 points and he's made seven out of his last eight shots," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters. "That becomes really hard to do, but for us, we've got to be smart enough long term and what that means. I do have an assistant that will take him out regardless of if I want to take him out or not."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Davis is averaging 26.5 points and 12 rebounds as the teams split this season's first two meetings.

2. Utah SG Rodney Hood scored 29 points against Dallas and is averaging 25.7 points over the last three contests.

3. New Orleans SF Ryan Anderson scored 26 points against Minnesota after averaging 10.5 points during a four-game losing streak.

PREDICTION: Pelicans 105, Jazz 101
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Utah 26-25 W7 17-10 9-15 0-1 26-24 5-6 14-17
New Orleans 19-32 W1 13-12 6-20 1-4 18-28 4-8 13-21
Last Meeting
Utah New Orleans
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/16/15 NO 104 UTA 94 94 34 47.8 104 36 46.6
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Utah D. Favors 22 66.7 2
New Orleans R. Anderson 24 50.0 13
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Utah D. Favors 7 2 5
New Orleans A. Davis 13 2 11
Assists Player  
Utah T. Burke 5
New Orleans T. Evans 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Utah G. Hayward 1090 43.4 270
New Orleans A. Davis 1197 49.3 258
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Utah R. Gobert 362 103 259
New Orleans A. Davis 519 111 408
Assists Player  
Utah G. Hayward 197
New Orleans J. Holiday 260
Quickchart Matchup
Utah Off vs  New Orleans Defense
97.8 Points For
104.9 Points Against
44.5 FG%
46.1 FG%
42.6 Reb
44.7 Reb
New Orleans Off vs  Utah Defense
102.3 Points For
96.4 Points Against
44.6 FG%
44.6 FG%
44.7 Reb
40.4 Reb