Ingram’s first career triple-double paces Pelicans to 115-96 victory over Hornets

Mar 24, 2023 - 2:19 AM
Charlotte Hornets v <a href=New Orleans Pelicans" src="" />
Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans took care of business on Thursday night, beating a short-handed Charlotte Hornets squad 115-96. This game, however, will be permanently etched in one player’s mind for the rest of his life.

In his 404th NBA appearance, Brandon Ingram notched the first triple-double of his career, finishing with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Ingram put the Smoothie King Center crowd on notice early, posting 17 points, five rebounds and six assists in the first quarter.

His production slowed considerably in the second frame, but he completed his triple-double with 1:19 left in the third after grabbing his 10th board.

The Pelicans were not without other notable performances.

Jonas Valanciunas very nearly posted the seventh 20-20 game of his career, totaling 20 points and 19 rebounds.

Valanciunas not getting consistent touches once Zion Williamson went down with a hamstring strain on Jan 2. will remain one of the world’s greatest mysteries. Outside of maybe Joel Embiid and several others, few are adept at preventing Valanciunas from utilizing his offensive repertoire to score a basket.

Fortunately, the Pelicans rediscovered the importance of feeding their big man last week in a loss to the Houston Rockets.

Over the last four games, Valanciunas is averaging 20.5 points, 15.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Trey Murphy had 19 points, four 3s and four steals and CJ McCollum had 20 points and hit three 3s.

Off the bench, Naji Marshall, who makes exotic lay-ups according to Willie Green in postgame, had 16 points, four rebound and three assists.

The Pelicans didn’t put away the Hornets until the fourth quarter, which came as a mild surprise. The Hornets finished with seven healthy players, as Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Dennis Smith Jr. were unable to compete for the full 48 minutes for various reasons.

With Thursday’s victory, the Pelicans are now on a three-game winning streak. They sit just a game below .500 for the season. As of this writing, they have identical 36-37 records with the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Now for the daunting negative: the Pelicans’ next four games will take place on the road, all against Western Conference opponents. They’re only 12-24 outside of the SKC. Hopefully, that trend changes quickly.

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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