SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Rookie Donovan Mitchell could not contain a broad, toothy smile when Utah Jazz fans chanted his name and gave a standing ovation that lasted a few minutes after a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Mitchell scored a personal record of 41 points and drove the Jazz rally in the fourth quarter in a 114-108 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.
The No. 13 overall pick set the jazz record for a rookie and became the first NBA rookie to score 40 points in a game since Blake Griffin in 2011. He beat Darrell Griffith's team record 38 in 1981.
Mitchell is the seventh rookie in franchise history to have a game of more than 30 points.
"I have no words, to be honest," Mitchell said. "I had Jonas (Jerebko) in my ear telling me to keep taking those shots – even the shots that are not always good, he says they're still aggressive, the coach is saying, they all say it.
" The fans are amazing. . Like Louisville. I'm speechless, but it was great to have that ovation. I'm pretty sure I was smiling for the last six points I scored. He still smiles. "
New Orleans star Anthony Davis suffered an injury to his left groin at the start of the fourth quarter, hit the floor under Jazz's basket and stayed there until the coaches came to help. Coach Alvin Gentry said Davis will have an MRI in Portland on Saturday and is "very unlikely" to play.
Eventually they pulled the All-Star out because he could not put pressure on one of his legs and they immediately placed him in a chair. He had 19 points and 10 rebounds before leaving, DeMarcus Cousins led New Orleans with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
The Pelicans controlled the first three quarters with an excellent effort. of shooting despite the decent defense of the Jazz, they shot 52.4 percent and made 11 of 21 3-pointers attempts in the first three quarters.
"One of the things about Donovan, he has the Able in white, "said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. "Some of what he did tonight is a function of the fact that he studied it, worked on it and as a result his readings were really good."
Utah lost by 12 at halftime, but began to weaken in the third quarter behind 21 combined points from Mitchell and Alec Burks. The Jazz fell 16th in the third, making this their biggest comeback of the season.
"Like I said to the guys, if you had said we had the chance to be four up with 12 minutes to play, we would have taken that," Gentry said. "We just did not finish the game, I thought they did a great job and, obviously, Donovan played a great game, pushing us all the way to the basket, when he was not driving, he was shooting a 3-pointer. be a great player. "
The Jazz opened the last quarter with a 10-0 lead to take a 90-84 lead. The Pelicans responded with a 12-0 run to take a six-point lead before Mitchell took over absolutely. He unleashed a variety of trays and pull-ups, including five consecutive during a 9-0 run to put the game away after the teams were tied at 103.
Burks scored 24 from the bench, and Mitchell had 29 in the second half. Derrick Favors added 18 points and 11 rebounds.
"They hit some shots, they hit some important shots," Cousins said. "The rookie had a (heck) of a game, dominated from start to finish, hit some important shots
" What did not he do? He had a (heck) of a game. Super awesome coming from a rookie, a guy so young to be prepared and control the game like he did. "
Pelicans: rookie Frank Jackson was in the building against the team from his hometown, but he's out indefinitely with a broken right foot He grew up in Salt Lake City before playing college ball at Duke Jackson went through a short workout before the game
Jazz: Rodney Hood missed his third straight game with left ankle pain … Raul Neto did not play for the second year in a row due to pain in his left thigh
The Jazz started one of the hardest sections of December in the league on Friday. They face four divisional leaders in the Wizards, Rockets (twice), Celtics and Warriors, and also the Cavaliers twice and Thunder three times, Thunder and Bulls are the only teams with a losing record that Utah faces.
Pelicans: travels to face Damian Lillard and Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
Jazz: Hosts John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Monday night.
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