New Orleans Pelicans: Grades for huge win over 1st-place Jazz

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Lonzo Ball
Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Utah Jazz drives against Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans were hoping to change their momentum heading into the All-Star break and got off to a good start with a huge win over the 1st-place Utah Jazz.

It took a big 3rd-quarter from Zion Williamson along with strong nights from Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball to get it done, but the Pels gave a glimpse of how good they can be when their “Big 3” all play well.

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Zion, BI and Lonzo combined for 75 points, 21 rebounds and 18 assists. This is what David Griffin should be building around. The starters all played huge minutes, which has to be a concern moving forward, as Stan Van Gundy played an 8-man rotation, with all the starters aside from Adams playing at least 34 minutes.

The New Orleans Pelicans didn’t play much defense as usual but if they continue to score 129 points, it won’t matter much.

The Pels have done this before, so I am not going to get too excited until I see them stack some wins but it was nice to finally get one against the Utah Jazz.

Here are the grades.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz: Grade for Lonzo Ball

A. . Point Guard. New Orleans Pelicans. LONZO BALL

Lonzo Ball continues to play his best basketball of the season and it’s been impressive to watch him play so well while still evolving into a new role for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Lonzo ended with 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and only nine of his points came from behind the 3-point line, which is a good sign, as he needs to get more buckets at the rim or on breaks, which he did against Utah.

He also had a couple of highlight-reel passes, including a nearly full-court lob in the 3rd-quarter that changed the momentum of the game.

Lonzo is a keeper and the Pels are probably going to regret not getting his extension done over the offseason.