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Burks scores 21 as Utah Jazz pull away from New Orleans Pelicans 101-87


SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz are no longer learning to play with Alec Burks, who missed most of last season with a shoulder injury. Coach Quin Snyder said the adjustment period is over.

Burks scored 21 points and the Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 101-87 on Saturday night.

The Jazz have won two straight, matching their season high.

"The biggest thing with Alec, I keep emphasizing with him is his decisions," Snyder said. "When he makes high-percentage decisions, he can shoot it, he can pass it, he can handle, he can finish. It's just a question of what is the defense giving?

"Early in the game he wasn't doing as good of a job at that. When he settled into the game, particularly late when he found a rhythm, he was very efficient and, obviously, hit some big shots."

Gordon Hayward scored 17 for the Jazz, Rodney Hood added 16 and Trevor Booker had season highs in points (13) and rebounds (15) for his first double-double of the season. Center Rudy Gobert added nine points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Pelicans center Anthony Davis was a one-man show for much of the night. He scored 14 of the Pelicans' 16 first-quarter points and finished with 36. Davis also grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots. Teammate Ish Smith came off the bench to score 13 points.

The Jazz (8-7) led by 21 in the second quarter, but went cold and entered halftime with a 48-39 lead. They pulled back away in the third quarter as Raul Neto, Burks and Trey Burke started knocking down shots.

"I've got faith and confidence in my shot and my abilities," Burks said. "I knew (shots) would fall eventually."

New Orleans (4-13) made a push late in the fourth quarter, but crucial buckets from Hayward and Burks stemmed the run.

The Jazz took a 21-point lead midway through the second quarter thanks to a 15-2 run early in the quarter. Hood and Hayward led the way, but baskets from Joe Ingles and Trey Lyles was a welcomed surprise from a bench that struggles to score. The pair entered averaging a combined 5.3 points.

It appeared headed for a rout until the Pelicans closed the second quarter on a 14-2 run that included a pair of dunks from both Davis and Alonzo Gee.

PHOTO: New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) sits on the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) sits on the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)

"We have to play together, play harder, play tougher," Davis said. "Trying to find a way to win. We have to come closer as a team and believe in each other."


Pelicans: New Orleans is 0-11 when being outshot by its opponent. ... Jrue Holiday was held to two points in 14 minutes. ... Davis didn't seem affected by the knee contusion he sustained Friday. He played 44 minutes ... The Pelicans are 0-4 on the second night of back-to-back games this season. ... New Orleans was outrebounded 49-35 and had just four offensive rebounds. "They shot 35 percent in the first half so we did a good job defensively, but we didn't complete the possessions because they had 10 offensive rebounds," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "If you can hold a team to 35 percent, you shouldn't be trailing by double figures at any point."

Jazz: Ingles scored nine first-half points, one shy of his season high for an entire game. ... Hood and Burke both played despite dealing with back spasms. Burke didn't practice Friday. ... The Jazz were 9 of 18 on 3-pointers. ... Utah never trailed. ... Lyles tied a career high with 18 minutes played.


Jazz power forward Derrick Favors missed the game due to personal reasons. That was 16.2 points and 8.5 rebounds out of the lineup. Booker started in his place and rookie Lyles picked up extra minutes.


Davis caught a teammate's blocked shot in the air and put back a dunk in one smooth motion.

Gobert had a reverse layup off a behind-the-back pass from a driving Burks.


"It can't be done by one guy," Gentry said of Davis. "I don't know of a team in the league that has been able to do that. Even the great teams have other guys that contribute things that help you win games."


Pelicans: Host Memphis on Tuesday.

Jazz: Host the Warriors on Monday.

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PHOTO: New Orleans Pelicans guard Ish Smith (4) shoots as Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)
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