It didn’t take long for the NBA to give fans some late-game drama inside the league’s “bubble.”
After falling behind by as many as 16 points, the Jazz battled back and defeated the Pelicans 106-104 in the first game of the NBA’s restart.
With less than 10 seconds to go in regulation and the game tied 104-104, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell drove the lane and found Rudy Gobert for a dunk attempt. Gobert was fouled by Pelicans center Derrick Favors, and Gobert drained both free throws. All-Star forward Brandon Ingram tried to win the game with a 3-point attempt at the buzzer on the next possession, but his shot rimmed out.
Mitchell and Mike Conley each scored 20 points for Utah, and Jordan Clarkson added 23 points off the bench. Ingram led New Orleans with 23 points, but the big story for the Pelicans was the lack of playing time for Zion Williamson, who scored 13 points in only 15 minutes. Williamson had recently returned to the NBA campus after an excused absence. It’s unclear if he was on a minutes restriction for this game or whether Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry will limit his playing time moving forward.
Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights from Pelicans vs. Jazz. Check out the best moments from the game below.
Pelicans vs. Jazz score
Pelicans vs. Jazz score, highlights
(All times Eastern)
Final: Jazz 106, Pelicans 104
9:15 p.m. — Brandon Ingram for the win . . . No good. The Pelicans drop a winnable game.
9:10 p.m. — Donovan Mitchell drives the lane and finds a cutting Rudy Gobert, who is fouled by Derrick Favors. Gobert calmly sinks both of his free throws to give the Jazz a 106-104 lead. Only 6.9 seconds left in regulation.
9 p.m. — Less than two minutes to play, and the Pelicans and Jazz are tied at 102. Are we heading to overtime?
8:55 p.m. — The Jazz are back on top. Utah captures its first lead since it held a two-point advantage near the end of the first quarter.
8:45 p.m. — Zion Williamson not exactly giving maximum defensive effort on this possession.
End of third quarter: Pelicans 87, Jazz 79
8:30 p.m. — If any MLB teams out there are looking for an extra outfielder, Donovan Mitchell might not be a bad option.
8:15 p.m. — Zion Williamson flips the script and dishes it to Lonzo Ball for the easy layup.
8:05 p.m. — “The Stifle Tower” stands tall in the paint.
End of first half: Pelicans 60, Jazz 48
7:50 p.m. — The Pelicans dominate the second quarter and take a 12-point lead into the locker room. Zion Williamson logged only seven minutes in the first half, making New Orleans’ performance that much more impressive.
The Jazz struggled offensively, shooting 34.1 percent from the field and 20.0 percent from 3-point range. They are really missing Bojan Bogdanovic, who is out for the season after undergoing wrist surgery in May.
7:35 p.m. — Brandon Ingram is cooking with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, and he has scored in a variety of ways. No signs of rust from the All-Star forward.
7:25 p.m. — LONZO TO ZION LOB ALERT.
End of first quarter: Pelicans 26, Jazz 23
7:10 p.m. — Brandon Ingram, 2019-20 NBA Most Improved Player award winner?
7 p.m. — The Jazz are on fire, shooting 7 of 12 from the field and 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Utah takes an 11-point lead into a timeout break about halfway through the first quarter.
6:50 p.m. — Rudy Gobert scores the first points of the game, and Zion Williamson answers with an and-one finish at the rim. The NBA is back.
6:40 p.m. — Players, coaches and referees kneel in protest of racial injustice during the playing of the national anthem.
6:05 p.m. — The Pelicans’ starting lineup: Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Derrick Favors.
The Jazz’s starting five: Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale and Rudy Gobert.
5:40 p.m. — And there is the confirmation. Zion Williamson is good to go.
5:30 p.m. — Zion Williamson will play in the restart opener, according to TNT’s Chris Haynes. He will be on the floor for short bursts but won’t necessarily be on a minutes restriction.
New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson will play today against the Utah Jazz in the restart opener, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 30, 2020