The New Orleans Pelicans did exactly what they needed to after the Golden State Warriors chose to sit four of their five starters for the second time in as many weeks. They pounded them into submission, winning 128-83.
Tonight's 45-point win marked the second-largest margin of victory in franchise history. (Nov 14, 2014, 48 points over MIN) pic.twitter.com/G2B7DYeUdE— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) November 22, 2022
The blowout was on just minutes into the contest. The Pelicans raced out to a 17-4 lead, putting together a total team effort. By the end of the first quarter, the disparity stood at 35-16, with New Orleans possessing a sparkling 10 assists-to-zero turnovers ratio.
Meanwhile, the Warriors looked very fourth-rate, garnering just a lone assist against seven turnovers.
The grouping of Donte Divincenzo, Jordan Poole, Anthony Lamb, Jonathan Kuminga and Kevon Looney didn’t deserve to share the same floor at tip-off with an NBA starting-caliber lineup.
The Pelicans reminded them of this fact often.
Although Brandon Ingram went off for 20 points and they shot 54.3% from the field as a team, New Orleans’ larger mark was made defensively in the first half.
Herb Jones registered a block and a steal inside the game’s first two minutes. As a team, they ripped a total of eight steals and rejected four shots in 24 minutes.
In their 65-41 advantage at halftime, the Pelicans held the Warriors to a 38.9 field goal percentage and a 16.7 3-point percentage. New Orleans also forced 15 turnovers and allowed only two offensive rebounds.
The total domination continued in the third quarter. The Pelicans added another eight points to their lead and Ingram was the biggest power source. He tallied 14 points in the frame, bringing his night’s line to 34 points, six rebounds, three assists, three 3s and three steals.
That is what he finished with, including 12 of 19 shooting and 7 for 7 from the free throw line, as the Pelicans obviously didn’t require his services in the fourth.
“I know how we take some of these games, and it was important for me to just get out and be aggressive early and lead by example,” Ingram said. “I tried to make sure the energy was really good on the basketball floor. Everybody else was ready. Herbert (Jones), Jonas (Valanciunas), Zion (Williamson), and CJ (McCollum) were ready. It made it easier for me to just step in to my shot and do whatever on the basketball floor.”
Zion Williamson’s movements were sharp and fluid in his return from a right foot contusion. On one possession, he changed direction so fast that it looked like Kuminga’s feet were stuck in cement.
The phenom finished with nine points and four assists, though, as balanced scoring was the name of the game behind Ingram’s outburst.
For those wondering, Williamson had failed to score in double figures previously once in his young career. During his rookie season, Zion scored seven points inside Orlando’s bubble, but in that matchup, he saw less than 15 minutes of action against the Clippers.
FIVE 3's tonight for Tae' pic.twitter.com/THQiLj1AFs— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) November 22, 2022
Devonte’ Graham was New Orleans’ fire starter off the bench in this one. He hit a couple of threes in the first quarter, including a four-point play. The backup guard finished with 19 points, six 3s, four rebounds and four assists.
“It’s always good to see the ball go through the hoop,” Graham said. “I was just being aggressive, looking for my shot and my teammates were looking for me. It was a fun night.”
Jose Alvarado had a nice night, posting 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Dyson Daniels had nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 26 points on 9 of 18 shooting.
The Pelicans closed out this six-game home stand with a 4-2 record, improving their record to 10-7 overall in the Western Conference.
New Orleans will next go back on the road, facing the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies sandwiched around Thanksgiving Day.
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