Gobert, Rubio dominate as Jazz top Pelicans, 132-111
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 28, 2018 09:44 AM
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) slam dunks over New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
By Brett Martel, Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS — Ricky Rubio had 28 points and 12 assists, Rudy Gobert had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz became the first team this season to beat the New Orleans Pelicans, 132-111 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time).
New Orleans played without star forward Anthony Davis. He was ruled out shortly before the game because of his sprained right elbow — an injury through which he'd played in a victory a night earlier over Brooklyn.
The Davis-Gobert matchup has been a competitive and compelling one in recent seasons. With Davis out, Gobert had his best game of the young season. He'd come in averaging 14.5 points and had not scored more than 19 points in a game this season. Rubio, who set up several Gobert dunks with alley-oop lobs, was averaging just six points coming in and hadn't scored more than 13 in a game.
It was perhaps fitting that a Frenchman and Spaniard would dominate in New Orleans — a city founded by the French and ruled by the Spanish during the early part of its 300-year history, and where Jazz music, as well as the NBA franchise named for it, were born.
Rubio has been brilliant in the Big Easy before. He scored 30 in a triumphant trip to New Orleans last March.
Donovan Mitchell scored 22 for Utah, which led by as many as 28 points in the third quarter and were still up 102-82 at the start of the fourth, when numerous fans began filing out en masse.
With a lineup of reserves finishing out the game, the Pelicans rallied to the point of re-engaging those fans who'd stuck around, pulling to 110-102 on Wesley Johnson's triple with 6:34 left. But Utah responded with a 10-2 run during which Rubio hit six free throws.
Nikola Mirotic scored 25 points, but 15 of that came in the first quarter, when he hit three triples and helped the Pelicans take a 31-28 lead into the second period. Jrue Holiday scored 18 points.
Jazz: Shot 52.3 percent (46-for-88) and combined for 10 three's on 32 attempts. ... Attempted 37 foul shot, hitting 30. ... Dante Exum scored 11 points, and Derrick Favors had 10.
Pelicans: Starting point guard Elfrid Payton left the game with a sprained right ankle early in the third quarter. ... Reserve forward Darius Miller did not play after leaving Friday night's (Saturday, PHL time) game against Brooklyn with a thigh bruise. ... Second-year pro Frank Jackson, a high-second-round in 2017 who sat out his rookie season with injuries, scored a career-high 14 points in 23 minutes. ... Jahlil Okafor scored 11 points in 14 minutes. ... New Orleans went 3-1 during its four-game home stand and now leaves for a nine-day, five-game road trip against Western Conference teams.
Jazz: Visit Dallas on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time).
Pelicans: Visit Denver on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time).