Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer looks at why the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans are better than their records.

Talking about the Jazz, O’Connor writes, “But don’t be fooled by their wins and losses: Utah’s near-.500 record is a ruse. The Jazz have the NBA’s second-best defensive rating (98.7) and are anchored by Rudy Gobert, the league’s best rim protector. They have the fifth-best net rating (plus-5.3), which is a better indicator for predicting success. Over the past 10 nonlockout seasons, the 36 teams with a net rating between four and six finished with an average of 53 wins, and only three had fewer than 50. The historical chances of the Jazz failing to hit the 50-win mark are slim.”

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The BYU Cougars used a dominating effort on the backboards to knock off the Utah State Aggies 77-63 on Wednesday at Vivint Arena.

Eric Mika and L.J. Rose led the way for the Cougars as they got back on the winning track after back-to-back losses. Mika finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and four blocks while Rose registered 18 points on a 10-for-11 shooting night from the foul line with nine rebounds and six assists.

 Yoeli Childs and Braiden Shaw also made huge contributions for the Cougars in the win. Childs totaled a team-high 12 rebounds to go along with nine points, while Shaw added 10 points and five rebounds, including four on the offensive end in just 14 minutes.

Jalen Moore led four Aggies in double figures in the loss, finishing with 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

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Jimmer Fredette had one of his best shooting performances of the season as he led the Sharks to a 111-98 win over the Qingdao Eagles on Friday night.

Fredette finished with 44 points on 18 for 27 shooting from the floor, including 6 for 9 from 3-point land and 2 for 2 from the foul line. He added six rebounds and six assists in 38:53 as Shanghai improved to 12-1 on the season.

Fredette got his offense going early with 11 first quarter points on a perfect 5 for 5 shooting from inside the arc.

After missing his first two 3-point attempts of the night, he caught fire and connected on six of his next seven shots from beyond the arc as the Sharks easily dispatched the Eagles.

Guerschon Yabusele and Liu XiaoYu also had solid outings for the Sharks in the victory. Yabusele finished with 20 points on 8 for 13 shooting with five rebounds while XiaoYu added 14 point, five steals and four rebounds.

Dominique Jones and Jerrelle Benimon led the way for the Eagles in the loss. Jones totaled 26 points on 9 for 13 shooting from the floor while Benimon chipped in with 22 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.

On the season, Fredette is averaging 38.8 points on 51.2 percent shooting from the floor, including 43.6 percent from beyond the arc and 91.8 percent from the free-throw line. He also chips in with 8.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.2 steals.

Up next for Fredette and Shanghai is a matchup with the Bayi Rockets. The Rockets are just 2-11 on the season after a 115-85 loss to Liaoning.