We’re taking a look back at some of the most important New Orleans Pelicans’ games of the season, including Brandon Ingram getting his revenge on the Utah Jazz.
January 16, 2020, the New Orleans Pelicans played host to the Utah Jazz in what would become the last matchup between the teams in the regular season.
The Pelicans were 9-3 over their last 12 games and starting to make a push for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, sitting just three and a half games behind Memphis.
The Jazz meanwhile were riding a 10-game winning streak and climbing from sixth to second in the west. The average margin of victory during that stretch was 12 points, with the closest game being just a two-point difference between these teams just 10 days before.
That game ended in controversy as Rudy Gobert fouled Brandon Ingram as he tried to lay in the ball to beat the buzzer. No foul was called and the Pelicans were visibly upset; to make matters worse the NBA’s two-minute report confirmed what everyone with eyes could see, Gobert fouled Ingram and the Pelicans should have gotten a chance to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The Pelicans were without Jrue Holiday, J.J. Redick, and Kenrich Williams for this game, so a win in the rematch was going to take a great effort from the young guns. To add insult to injury, Utah had won seven straight games in the Big Easy. It was against this backdrop that the Jazz rolled back into New Orleans for a rematch.
This was a matchup between two of the best three-point shooting teams. At the time the Jazz shot the highest percentage from deep and as of this writing they are tied with the Miami Heat for first with 38.3% and the Pelicans are tied with Washington and Portland for third with 37.2% as a team.
In the eight games leading up to this, the Pelicans were giving up an average of 108.3 points per game which was fourth-best in the NBA over that span. Spoiler alert, they would give up more than that.
After a very tightly contested first quarter in which both teams did a very good job of incorporating every player into the flow of their offense (no one had double-digit points for either team), the Jazz led by three going into the break.
The second quarter was where the New Orleans Pelicans began to pull away and opened up a seven-point lead by the end of the half. Brandon Ingram and E’twaun Moore, in particular, had very good quarters for the Pels, scoring 10 and eight apiece.
Donovan Mitchell began to take over in the third quarter and scored a cool 18 in just under 10 minutes on the court (9:55). By the end of the third, the Jazz had taken back control of the game and were up by six.
Mitchell continued his push to lead his team to a victory with 13 points but Ingram poured in 14 of his own and hit one of the biggest shots of his career with just 0.2 seconds on the clock to put the Pels up by one. But the game would go to overtime (more on how that happened below) with the teams tied at 122.
In overtime both Rudy Gobert and Josh Hart would foul out, the former’s impact on his team would be missed more. Ingram and Favors continued to put the pedal down and led the young Pels to a huge win 138-132.