February 26th, 2024

Ingram scores 41 to pace Pelicans past reeling Raptors 138-100

By Brett Martel, The Associated Press on February 5, 2024.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – After Brandon Ingram hit five straight 3-pointers during the final three minutes of the third quarter, he had a big smile as he made his way to the bench and soaked in a prolonged standing ovation.

Ingram highlighted a season-high 41-point outburst with a career-high eight 3-pointers – hitting six during a dazzling third quarter – and the New Orleans Pelicans routed the struggling Toronto Raptors 138-100 on Monday night.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” said Ingram, who came in shooting a solid 35 per cent from deep but tends to prefer mid-range jumpers. “I’m going to continue to shoot those 3s if it feels that good.”

“I know it definitely makes us a better team if I’m out there and I’m attempting to shoot 3s,” Ingram added. “Whatever the defence gives me, I’ll take.”

Ingram became the first player in NBA history to score at least 40 points, make at least eight 3s, shoot 75 per cent and not commit a single turnover in the same game, according to STATS.

“We’ve been on our guys to shoot more 3s and B.I. especially,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “He has it in him and tonight he sees what happens when he shoots the shots that are open.”

CJ McCollum scored 20 points – accounting for six of New Orleans’ 19 made 3-pointers.

“We played fast. We played smart, understanding what we wanted to accomplish tonight,” McCollum said.

Zion Williamson added 16 points, while Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Pelicans, who won their third straight while dropping the Raptors to their eighth loss in nine games.

Raptors rookie Gradey Dick, the 13th overall pick out of Kansas in last summer’s NBA draft, had a season-high 22 points, highlighted by four 3s. Scottie Barnes scored 17, and Jakob Poeltl had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Toronto was coming off a double-overtime loss at Oklahoma City on Sunday.

“Fatigue is part of this league and this is a league that there are no excuses,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said. “Nobody’s asking you what did you do yesterday. You’ve got a job to do today and our performance today was unacceptable and this is not the way we want to go about our business.

“We just did not do enough in any area tonight to be a competitive team. This was very disappointing. “¦ We were just like one step late on everything we were doing.”

Ingram scored 21 points in the first half on nine jump shots. His closest in that stretch was an eight-foot pull-up as he was fouled. Everything else went down from 14 feet or farther, including a pair of 3s.

“His ability to hit tough shots, get others involved, finish around the basket, hit 3s – it was all on display,” McCollum said.

Williamson added 14 first-half points to help New Orleans build a lead as large as 21 points early in the second quarter. That margin might have been wider if not for Dick, who came in averaging four points per game, but scored 15 in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-4 from deep.

That helped the Raptors briefly cut their deficit to 12 before New Orleans took a 67-50 lead into halftime.

With Pelicans starters resting during the fourth, New Orleans reserve guard Jose Alvarado capitalized on extra minutes with 11 points and three steals.

UP NEXT

Raptors: Visit the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday to close out a six-game trip.

Pelicans: Visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday to open a four-game trip.

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

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