Utah Takes Down New Orleans Behind Gobert’s Monster Night

Looking at the final box score from when the Utah Jazz took on the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night, it would be hard to tell if the game took place in October or January. 

Playing with nearly an entire squad, Utah looked to be in midseason form following a 127-96 victory over New Orleans. 

“I think it was really important for us,” Mitchell said of playing together as a unit. “Overall, I think we are in a good spot, we can definitely raise our level a little bit. … But it was definitely good to get everybody back out there.”

Head coach Quin Snyder treated this game very similar to what you might see in January. He went with his regular starting five of Mitchell, Mike Conley, Royce O’Neale, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Rudy Gobert. Four of them finished in double figures scoring, and all had a plus-minus rating of +21 or better.

After sitting out the opening two preseason games, Gobert said yesterday that he was just excited to get back on the court. He believes these games are great at developing a rhythm heading into the regular season, and ultimately that was his goal.

Mission accomplished.

He finished with a double-double of 19 points and 19 rebounds on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor. And just for good measure, the reigning defensive player of the year added two blocks, two assists, and one steal.

“It was good, but I got a little tired,” Gobert said of his performance. “I just try to set the tone, and use this game to get a feel and get good habits. … That’s really the most important thing.”

Bogdanovic, who also missed the first two games of the preseason with right shoulder soreness, came out firing in the first quarter with seven points in the opening five minutes. He finished with 15 points and three steals.

With the return of the starters, the Jazz began the game with a lot more energy on both ends of the court. Conley and Gobert continue to run arguably the best pick-and-roll in the league while Mitchell relentlessly attacked the paint. 

After leading by six at the end of the first quarter, the Jazz outscored the Pelicans 67-43 through the next two quarters to lead 95-65, entering the fourth. With the game all but decided, Snyder elected to rest his veterans and give way to some younger players. 

That’s where Eric Paschall delivered his best performance of the preseason. 

Looking to notch out a spot in Snyder’s rotation, Paschall finished the game with 14 points (6-of-7 from the floor) in 17 minutes. He was active on both ends of the court and showed a willingness to dive for loose balls and battle with big men down low.

“I thought that the best thing he did is that he let the game come to him,” Snyder said of Psschall. “He had a couple of really good reads off the ball where he made the read before. I thought he competed defensively. Those are the things we want to see from him when he’s out there no matter what position he’s at. “

Conley finished with 15 points and five assists while Mitchell added 18 points, five assists, four steals, and three blocks.

Utah returns to action on Wednesday for its final preseason game of the year when it hosts the defending champion, Milwaukee Bucks. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

To purchase tickets for the season-opener against the Thunder on Oct. 20, click HERE.

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