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Pelicans look to stay unbeaten vs.Jazz

The Utah Jazz are in the midst of their first multi-game road trip of the season.

The New Orleans Pelicans host the Jazz on Saturday night before embarking on a similar trip next week.

It's still very early in the season, but this stretch will be a gauge for two teams that were in the playoffs last season and believe they're capable of making a deeper run this season.

The Jazz (2-2) started their four-game trip with a 100-89 victory at Houston on Wednesday night, bouncing back from consecutive home losses.

"We really needed to get a win," center Rudy Gobert said.

"We just came in hungry 'cause of the past two games," guard Donovan Mitchell told the Deseret News. "The last two games, we didn't play like us. As a team, we felt that. So we just came out there playing the way we had been playing last year."

Utah coach Quin Snyder said a set of games like this road swing -- which will also take the Jazz to Dallas and Minnesota -- is helpful in evaluating his team.

"Every game is an opportunity to get better," Snyder told the Salt Lake Tribune. "Certainly, you don't treat it like it's an 80-game season. You treat it, right now, like it's a four-game season.

"Every game, there's opportunities for us to be better, and you don't want to overreact to not playing well, but you absolutely react. And our guys understand that, and we want to come out and play well and win."

Mitchell started slowly in the first three games, then had 38 points seven assists and five rebounds against the Rockets. He made 14 of 25 shots after shooting just 34.4 percent in his first three games.

"I think he's a catalyst for us offensively and the guys know that," Snyder told the Deseret News. "When we can play through him, and he's being aggressive, and not just for his shot, which is good but he's a guy that can make plays for others as well.

"He's going to get better throughout the course of the year and we're not going to judge him by a good game or a bad game. We just want to keep seeing him get better and that's what he's focusing on, too."

The Pelicans (4-0) will complete their first set of back-to-back games when they host the Jazz to complete a four-game homestand.

They used an improbable comeback to beat the Brooklyn Nets 117-115 on Friday night.

Brooklyn led by five and had the ball with less than a minute remaining, but turned the ball over three times. Nikola Mirotic made two free throws and Jrue Holiday made two free throws and a jumper to put New Orleans ahead.

"They turned the ball over and we tried to get it in quick," Holiday said. "They let me roll it to about halfcourt. I guess I was just thinking that Anthony (Davis) is going to come and set the screen and I'm going to get it to Anthony somehow. When he sets the screen he attracts so many people that I can get a wide-open shot and I took it."

Ed Davis got a technical with two seconds remaining for shoving the Pelicans' Solomon Hill as Hill walked past the Nets' huddle during a timeout. Holiday made the technical free throw to create a two-point lead and the Pelicans' Davis stole the in-bounds pass.

The Jazz won three of the four meetings last season, including both in New Orleans.

Updated October 27, 2018

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