Several days after Jose Alvarado scored 28 points against the Detroit Pistons, Trey Murphy III burned the nets for 27, leading the New Orleans Pelicans to a 111-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
One sensed that Murphy was headed for a dominant performance. He connected on his first two looks from deep to give the Pelicans a 6-0 edge out of the gates.
"Murphy's corner is WIDE OPEN!"— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 10, 2022
Metro New Orleans Watch Live: https://t.co/7tRUJDq4vE pic.twitter.com/WZ3KkkjHsC
In all, Murphy hit seven 3-pointers, making 10 of 15 field goals overall. His last triple on the night opened up a 20-point lead for the Pelicans in the third quarter.
A little more than four minutes earlier on the game clock, the score was knotted up at 52 apiece.
If there’s one thing we’re learning quickly in preseason, the Pelicans are going to be very explosive on offense during the 2022-23 campaign, with so many players capable of lighting up the scoreboard — provided, of course, the injuries stay away.
The Pelicans lost Jaxson Hayes for the next 2-4 weeks at a minimum after he tore the UCL in his left elbow on Friday. Tonight, Larry Nance Jr. and Dyson Daniels were forced to leave the game due to injury, with Daniels perhaps looking the worst of the two following an obvious right ankle sprain.
And remember, CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram have been dealing with nagging issues since training camp.
But back to the good, the Pelicans had a number of solid contributions from the rest of the cast which took the floor.
Zion Williamson didn’t enjoy a friendly referee whistle, looking notably upset after several drives, but he didn’t let it deter him from making an impact elsewhere. He set up teammates beautifully and cleaned the glass well to finish with a line of eight points, nine rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.
Zion's gravity clear to see on this kick out to Nance for three pic.twitter.com/SJTPeu71H9— Pelicans Film Room (@PelsFilmRoom) October 9, 2022
Devonte’ Graham continued his solid preseason play, finishing with 11 points and six assists in 19 minutes, and Jonas Valanciunas added 14 points, five rebounds and a couple of treys.
Off the bench, Willy Hernangomez had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, Naji Marshall had 15 points and five rebounds, and Jose Alvarado loved on the number three: four points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Spurs were led by Doug McDermott, who scored 11 of his 14 points in the first quarter, and Josh Richardson’s 12.
The Pelicans hot perimeter shooting paved the way for a quick start — eight of their first nine attempts came from 3 — and then it essentially ended the game shortly after halftime. They knocked down 15 of 39 3-pointers overall (38.5%). They were also much crisper from the free throw line than against the Pistons from two days ago, hitting 16 of 19 (84.2%).
New Orleans moves to 3-0 in preseason action, with two games remaining on the schedule before the regular season kicks off on Oct 19. Along with Daniels and Nance making speedy recoveries, here’s to the injury bug staying away for the rest of exhibition play.
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.