Clarkson scores 39 points, Jazz outlast Pelicans in OT
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jordan Clarkson scored a season-high 39 points and had eight rebounds in the Utah Jazz’s 132-129 overtime victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.
Clarkson was 15 of 26 from the field and made seven 3-pointers to help Utah sweep the two-game set after beating New Orleans 121-100 on Tuesday night.
“Got in a rhythm early,” Clarkson said. “Mike (Conley) was feeding me, just getting open shots, all-in-the-flow offense. It definitely felt good to see the ball go in.”
Lauri Markkanen added 31 points and Malik Beasley had 17 for Utah.
Zion Williamson had 31 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two blocks for New Orleans. C.J. McCollum added 28 points, and Nate Marshall and Larry Nance, Jr. each had 13.
“The effort was there a lot more than two nights ago,” Williamson said. “Just too many turnovers in crucial parts of the game.”
Clarkson tied it going into the final minute with his first basket of the fourth quarter.
Markkanen followed with another 3 to give the Jazz a 121-118 lead. Trey Murphy III made a corner 3 for New Orleans with 2.9 seconds remaining to force overtime.
The Jazz never trailed in the extra period after Clarkson made a pair of baskets to put Utah up 127-123. McCollum had a chance to tie it but missed a 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left.
“We just didn’t execute good enough to get the ball in bounds and get a shot off,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said.
New Orleans threatened to break a close game open in the third quarter after charging out to a 76-63 lead behind a 14-2 run. The Pelicans made 10 of their first 12 shots to open the quarter. Williamson fueled the run by scoring back-to-back baskets and assisting on another bucket.
Utah erased the deficit before the quarter ended. Beasley made an alley oop layup to cap a 14-1 run and put the Jazz up 91-90.
“They kind of had control of the game there for a little bit, especially to start the third quarter and I thought that our team dug deep,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “The bench gave us a big lift, and the guys responded.”
The Jazz had a chance at a game-winning basket in regulation when Markkanen tossed up a short jumper in the final second. Nance switched onto the Utah forward and denied him with a block to force overtime. Officials reviewed the play for goaltending, but it stood after review.
“It was probably the highest point of the shot,” Markkanen said. “We had to play another five minutes, but it was a good play. We got a great look at it. He made a great play.”
Pelicans: Marshall had four steals, matching his career high. … New Orleans went 12 of 30 from 3-point range after making just four outside baskets against Utah on Tuesday night.
Jazz: Clarkson scored 17 points in the first quarter — a career-best for first-quarter points. … Utah scored 33 points off 18 New Orleans turnovers.
Pelicans: At Phoenix on Saturday night.
Jazz: At Milwaukee on Saturday night.
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