The first game of the 2019-20 season left fans of the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans on the edge of their seats in the final moments of Thursday night’s contest. However, the Pelicans came up short after a last-second three from Brandon Ingram rattled out falling to the Jazz 106-104.
How It Happened
It was an interesting start to the ballgame with Rudy Gobert, the player who contracted COVID-19 on March 11th and was part of the reason why the league suspended the season, made the first basket of the resumed season. After that opening possessions, things didn’t look great to start the contest for New Orleans, allowing Utah to go up 19-8 before Alvin Gentry had to call a timeout after a two-pointer from Mike Conley. However, the Pelicans came out of the timeout in a big way going on a 16-4 run to end the first quarter up by three after one quarter of action.
It was more of the same to open up the second quarter with the Jazz keeping it close early on, but the Pelicans put together another solid 12-3 run to go up 49-38 following a bank shot from E’Twaun Moore. Jrue Holiday helped keep them out in front the rest of the first half, headed into the locker room up 60-48.
The Pelicans came out to start the second half fairly sluggish, giving the Jazz a chance to get within five points in the opening four minutes of the third quarter. Jrue Holiday did take control late in the quarter, and they were able to head into the fourth quarter up 87-79.
Utah took back control after a Donovan Mitchell bank shot to put them up 98-97 with 4:09 left in regulation. They were able to take the first game of the NBA restart thanks to some solid shooting from the free-throw line down the stretch.
Big Number: 15
After initially being a game-time decision, Zion Williamson was used in limited bursts on Thursday but made the most of his 15 minutes on the floor with 13 points and one assist. The number that also stood out in his stat line was zero rebounds for the former Duke Blue Devil.
Player of the Game: Brandon Ingram
Ingram may have missed the potential game-winner, but it was one heck of a performance by the former Laker. The star forward led the team with 23 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort.
Next Up: Saturday vs Los Angeles Clippers; Tipoff at 5 pm