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 Jazz 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.
New Orleans led 70-60 after Anthony Davis scored five quick points on a three- point play in transition and two free throws after a Hayward turnover. Davis led the Pelicans with a game-high 29 points and 15 rebounds.
Hayward sparked a 10-0 march with a 3 early in the shot clock on the ensuing Jazz possession and capped it with another long ball less than two minutes later.
Earlier, Eric Gordon scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter to help the Pelicans to a 29-22 lead after 12 minutes.
A 9-1 New Orleans run late in the first half gave the visitors a 54-41 lead 1:58 before halftime. Kanter's dunk and Hayward foul shots had it to 10, 55-45, at the half.
Garrett played 19 games for Phoenix as a rookie last season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.6 assists in 7.8 minutes per game ... Holiday and Tyreke Evans netted 19 points apiece for New Orleans ... Favors contributed a 12-point, 12- rebound double-double with a career-high five steals for the Jazz.