Salt Lake City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Gordon Hayward tallied 27 points and a career-high 10 assists and Diante Garrett played a pivotal role in his Utah debut as the Jazz won their first game of the season, 111-105, over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
Utah, which trailed by 10 points at halftime and as many as 16 early in the third quarter, battled back to tie the score at 70-70 with a 10-0 surge late in the third.
Marvin Williams' layup at the 3:18 mark of the fourth put the Jazz in front, 98-97. Richard Jefferson and Jrue Holiday then traded 3's and after a pair of empty possessions, Garrett's impact was felt. The 25-year old point guard, who spent the early portion of the season with the Iowa Energy of the NBA Developmental League, kept his composure down the stretch and found Williams all alone at the top of the key for a 3-pointer and a 104-100 lead with 1:22 remaining.
In the final minute, Williams blocked a Holiday layup and Garrett once again showed his poise, threading the needle with a bounce pass to Derrick Favors to beat a double team near midcourt. Favors did the rest, finishing in traffic at the rim, and a pair of Hayward free throws sealed it for Utah.
Jefferson scored 22 points, Enes Kanter had 21 and 10 rebounds and Garrett scored seven points with five assists off the bench in the victory.