Simone Fontecchio gave Will Hardy’s Utah Jazz the spark they needed to beat the New Orleans Pelicans. His three-pointer with 3:17 left gave the Jazz a 6-point lead, but Hardy praised his defense and physicality most of all.
“He’s a warrior.”, Will Hardy said of Fontecchio. “He keeps putting his face in there and defending. He has a swollen lip and a bump on his head; he looks like he was in a boxing match. His commitment positively affects everyone!”
Fontecchio grabbed a crucial rebound with 35.2 seconds left and was tasked with marking Pelicans star Brandon Ingram. In the last two minutes he contested two Ingram shots, both missed, and then probably made the play of the game.
After a three-pointer by Jordan Clarkson and rebounding the ball near midcourt, the Pelicans appeared to have an opportunity to tie on the counterattack. But Fontecchio dove on the loose ball, forcing the Pelicans to struggle to regain possession and allowing the Jazz to get back on defense. He finished the night with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.