Graham’s 3-pointer lifts Pelicans to 98-97 win over Jazz

Nov 26, 2021, 6:45 AM | Updated: 9:57 pm
New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham (4) shoots next to Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) duri...

New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham (4) shoots next to Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Alex Goodlett)

(AP Photo/Alex Goodlett)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Devonte’ Graham made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds to lift the New Orleans Pelicans to a 98-97 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Brandon Ingram had 21 points and six rebounds for the Pelicans. Nickeil Alexander-Walker chipped in 15 points. Willy Hernangomez added 13 points and eight rebounds.

New Orleans won for the first time this season when trailing at the start of the fourth quarter.

“We fought all four quarters,” center Jonas Valanciunas said. “We responded to their physicality. We guarded well down the stretch, especially in the fourth quarter. It was huge for us. We need those kinds of games.”

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points and Donovan Mitchell added 16 points and six assists for the Jazz. Mike Conley and Joe Ingles chipped in 12 points apiece.

After trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Pelicans surged ahead in the fourth quarter and took a 91-85 lead on a layup by Herbert Jones with 4:45 left.

The Jazz rallied and went back in front on back-to-back baskets by Mitchell. Conley followed with a layup and Rudy Gobert added a free throw, giving Utah a 97-93 lead with 37.5 seconds remaining.

Utah could not hang on. Ingram made a pair of free throws and Graham hit the 3 in transition after Mitchell missed a driving layup in the final seconds.

“I wanted to win,” Graham said. “I didn’t want to go into overtime and give them any energy. (With) the crowd, it’s tough to play here so I was just thinking go for the win.”

Bogdanovic scored five of Utah’s first six baskets – including three 3-pointers – for an 18-10 first-quarter lead.

Alexander-Walker bookended a 13-1 run with a pair of 3-pointers before Utah countered with a 15-2 run, punctuated by Bogdanovic sidestepping a defender to knock down his fourth 3-pointer of the game, to surge back ahead 43-32 midway through the second quarter.

New Orleans erased the deficit as the quarter progressed and took a 46-45 halftime lead on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Hernangomez. The Jazz missed five shots and committed three turnovers over their final eight first-half possessions to open the door for a rally. Utah went scoreless over the final 4 ½ minutes of the first half.

“We’ve established an identity to this team,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We don’t look like that team. That’s where the inconsistency lies. I think we know how we need to play. It’s just a question of us executing.”

The Jazz and Pelicans will play again on Saturday night.


Pelicans: Hernangomez had five assists, matching his career high. … Valanciunas had a team-high 10 rebounds. … New Orleans was 0-14 when trailing after three quarters going into Friday night.

Jazz: Bogdanovic went 5 of 5 from the field in the first quarter, accounting for 45% of Utah’s total baskets during that period. … Gobert finished with a team-high 10 rebounds. … Mitchell shot just 6 of 21 from the field.


Zion Williamson is one step closer to returning to action for New Orleans.

The third-year forward was cleared on Friday to participate in full team basketball activities. Williamson went through 4-on-4 full-contact work the same day. He has not yet done any 5-on-5 drills but will do so at the Pelicans’ next full practice.

Williamson has not played this season after fracturing his right foot.

“It’s been a long road to get him to this point,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “Anyone that’s ever dealt with any type of injury like that, it’s just hard to come back from. Hard mentally. He’s done a great job of pushing through it.”

Green said there’s no timetable for when Williamson will make his season debut. Everything will hinge on how he feels in practice. New Orleans isn’t expected to hold its first full practice until Thursday at the earliest.

The Pelicans are hopeful his participation in practice will make a positive difference.

“Hopefully, it adds some juice to our team,” Green said. “He’s a huge part of what we do here.”


More AP NBA: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Driver Jimmie Johnson poses in front of a street sign after the street was named for him out...
Associated Press

Column: Johnson will chase challenges long into retirement

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — There is a scene in Jimmie Johnson’s coffee table book “One More Lap” in which the seven-time NASCAR champion and future Hall of Famer gives a dramatic reading of an excerpt from a biography of the late journalist Hunter S. Thompson. The author, Ivan Shaw, notes that Johnson finishes reading aloud […]
13 hours ago
Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins reacts on the sideline after a play during the first half of ...
Associated Press

Ga Tech fires Geoff Collins in 4th season with 10-28 mark

ATLANTA (AP) — Geoff Collins is out as Georgia Tech’s football coach, fired Monday in the midst of his fourth season after failing to make headway with a brash plan to turn the Yellow Jackets into a national powerhouse through branding and promoting Atlanta’s big-city culture. Collins was officially dumped during a meeting of the […]
2 days ago
FILE - Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver gestures to Indiana Pacers' Danny Granger after Granger mis...
Associated Press

Minus owner Sarver, Suns return for another run at NBA title

PHOENIX (AP) — All-Stars Devin Booker and Chris Paul, along with freshly paid Deandre Ayton and coach Monty Williams, are back together for another run at an elusive NBA title. One man who apparently won’t be along on the journey — team owner Robert Sarver. The Suns met in downtown Phoenix on Monday for media […]
2 days ago
University of Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Calipari stands on the sidelines during the...
Associated Press

Kentucky moves scrimmage to E. Kentucky for flood relief

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods. The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief. Wildcat […]
2 days ago
Christian Pulisic follows the game from the bench during the international friendly soccer match be...
Associated Press

US coach Berhalter: ‘We got our butts kicked’ by Japan

Christian Pulisic and Ricardo Pepi will join the U.S. starting lineup for the Americans’ last World Cup warmup against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night after coach Gregg Berhalter admitted “we got our butts kicked” by Japan last week. The 14th-ranked U.S. failed to get a single shot on target in Friday’s 2-0 defeat to No […]
2 days ago
President Joe Biden holds up a jersey during an event celebrating the 2021 World Series champion At...
Associated Press

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration. Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White […]
2 days ago
Graham’s 3-pointer lifts Pelicans to 98-97 win over Jazz