Ingram’s 32 points pace Pelicans to easy 119-84 victory over Spurs

Mar 22, 2023 - 2:22 AM
San Antonio Spurs v <a href=New Orleans Pelicans" src="" />
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s the first two-game winning streak since early February.

Following Sunday’s 117-107 victory over the Houston Rockets, the New Orleans Pelicans proceeded to crush a barely recognizable San Antonio Spurs squad by a final score of 119-84.

There was little doubt about Tuesday’s outcome towards the end of the first quarter, but the second should have eased remaining concerns from even those fans who harbor major trust issues about their Pelicans.

After nailing all 12 free throws attempts to grab a 27-16 lead at the end of the first, the Pelicans beat up a Spurs active roster devoid of ready NBA-caliber talent by a 37-23 margin in the second.

The recipe was legible for all to read: San Antonio couldn’t put the ball through the hoop; New Orleans could — especially in the second frame.

The Pelicans made 75% (15-20) of their field goal attempts in the second quarter. Four of those misses came from deep, but they still made 5-of-9 (55.6%) 3-pointers.

New Orleans had nearly scored as many points in the second quarter (37) as San Antonio did in the first half (39).

The obvious disparity in ability actually was responsible for some fluctuations in the third quarter in my opinion.

It felt as though the Pelicans got a little lackadaisical at times because of the onset of some boredom. However, the Spurs would shock them back to the task at hand thanks to several small runs ignited by their sheer effort level that never waned.

Give Gregg Popovich credit. His group never stopped playing hard. But outside of Tre Jones (15 points, eight assists), Devonte’ Graham (15 points, three 3s), Doug McDermott (five points, three rebounds) and maybe Sandro Mamukelashvili (20 points, five rebounds), the rest of tonight’s active Spurs will not be found on rosters trying to win anytime soon.

Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 32 points, seven assists and four rebounds. He made 10 of his 16 field goal attempts and all 10 from the free throw line. It’s always good practice to see the vast majority of shots go through the net.

Jonas Valanciunas very nearly posted his third straight 20-point-10-rebound double-double, finishing with 19 points and 15 rebounds. He also added five assists.

CJ McCollum had 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists, Trey Murphy had 17 points, three rebounds and three 3s, and Josh Richardson led all New Orleans bench scores with 10 points.

Don’t read too much into this victory. While it’s always great for these Pelicans to add W’s to the win column, tonight’s matchup was more akin to a glorified practice than against NBA competition that the team will predominantly face over their remaining regular season schedule.

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.

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