NBA

Pelicans, Jazz face off after Sunday wins in California

SALT LAKE CITY -- All Utah needed to avoid taking a bad loss on the road was a fourth-quarter rally capped off by a dramatic finish in overtime.

Now the Jazz head home trying to retain the momentum from a stunning victory when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The Jazz trailed by as many as 16 points against Sacramento in the first half on Sunday before rallying to edge the Kings 110-109 in overtime. Rudy Gobert scored on a tip-in basket at the buzzer to help Utah (39-24) notch its second straight win.

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Gobert totaled 16 points, 24 rebounds and three blocks to fuel the late Jazz comeback. His basket was initially waved off when referees called Gobert for basket interference. They overturned the call upon review and the basket stood. It was the biggest play for Gobert on a night when he made a multitude of them.

"It's kind of who Rudy is," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "We talk about what a competitor he is. He doesn't give up on plays."

Gobert's final basket proved to be the difference-maker, but seeds for the victory were planted during the fourth quarter when Utah started getting stops and erased a double-digit deficit in the final minutes of regulation.

The Kings ultimately scored just 50 points over the final 29 minutes.

"First of all, I think we didn't play very good defense throughout the game," Gobert said. "But, in the second half, we picked it up and gave ourselves a second chance to get back in the game, and we did. And then, in the last seconds, I knew we were going to have a chance, so we just went and got it done."

Getting Rodney Hood back in the starting lineup provided a much needed spark to the Jazz offense. Hood returned from a two-game absence designed to rest a sore right knee, and he looked like his old self against Sacramento.

Hood poured out a season-high 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting. He also shot 50 percent from 3-point range for the third consecutive game in which he played.

Like Utah, New Orleans earned a critical road victory on Sunday. The Pelicans shut down the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half on their way to a 105-97 victory. It snapped a five-game losing streak for New Orleans (25-38) and gave the team its first win since acquiring DeMarcus Cousins in a deal with Sacramento just before the trading deadline last month.

Cousins and Anthony Davis offered a glimpse at what their frontcourt pairing could mean for the Pelicans down the road. Davis tallied a team-high 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds against the Lakers. Cousins added 26 points and 15 rebounds. With the duo drawing defensive attention, point guard Jrue Holiday cashed in with 20 points, 12 assists and five rebounds.

Figuring out how Cousins fits into the picture remains a work in progress for New Orleans, but the Pelicans really like what they have seen from him so far.

"He's been great because one of the things he says is, 'You guys have to play your game, I'll be OK and I'll be able to fit in,' and he has been able to do that," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. "It's just a process that we'd like to expedite, but it's just not something you can do and do it in one, two, three, four games."

Utah defeated the Pelicans 127-94 on Feb. 8 at New Orleans in the most recent meeting between the teams. Joe Johnson paced the Jazz with 27 points off the bench -- one of seven Utah players who scored in double figures in a game in which the Jazz shot 54.5 percent from the field.