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Game thread: Ingram, Valanciunas out again as Pelicans and Celtics clash

Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Willy Hernangomez have filled in admirably for Brandon and Jonas, but who else steps up for New Orleans?

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Brandon Ingram will miss his fourth straight contest, as he remains out of action with a right sprained ankle, when the Pelicans tip against the Celtics at 6:00 p.m.

New Orleans will also be without Jonas Valanciunas for a third consecutive game. He is out with a non-Covid related illness.

The Pelicans fell 104-92 in Boston less than two weeks ago — when they had their top two leading scorers active. Here’s to the next man-up philosophy of finding a way to break the team’s current two-game losing streak, though one should be confident in penciling in production from two Pelicans.

Willy Hernangomez is averaging 15 points, 11.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks as Valanciunas’ starting lineup replacement in his five absences. Meanwhile, Nickeil Alexander-Walker is averaging 17.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.5 threes in Ingram DNPs.

In other news, Wenyen Gabriel is back with the Pelicans after signing a 10-day contract via the COVID hardship exception.

Gabriel, 6’9”, 205, has appeared in 58 career games (one start) across three seasons with the LA Clippers, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Portland, and Sacramento, recording averages of 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per contest while shooting .413 from the field. Gabriel has appeared in seven games this season with the Clippers and Nets, averaging 2.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per game.

Most recently, Gabriel has appeared in 14 games (12 starts) for the Wisconsin Herd of the NBA G League this season, averaging 14.1 points on .464 percent shooting from the field and .350 percent shooting from three-point range, 8.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals and 2.1 blocks in 25.9 minutes per contest. He also spent two seasons (2018-20) with the Stockton Kings of the NBA G League.

For more on tonight’s matchup, please give David’s preview a read.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (18-30) vs Boston Celtics (25-25)

When: January 29, 2022, 6:00 p.m.

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, NBA League Pass

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.