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Dec 5, 2023 12:48 am

Brandon Ingram, Pelicans down Kings in quarterfinals

Brandon Ingram recorded 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists and the New Orleans Pelicans advanced to the semifinals of the NBA’s in-season tournament with a 127-117 knockout-round victory over the host Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

Herbert Jones scored 23 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out for the third-seeded Pelicans. CJ McCollum had 17 points and Trey Murphy III added 16 points off the bench for New Orleans, which beat Sacramento for the third time this season.

The Pelicans will face either the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers or fourth-seeded Phoenix Suns in Thursday’s semifinals in Las Vegas. The Lakers and Suns play their quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

De’Aaron Fox scored 30 points and Domantas Sabonis recorded 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the second-seeded Kings.

Malik Monk tallied 21 points off the bench, Keegan Murray scored 14 points and Kevin Huerter added 12 for Sacramento.

The Kings went 4-0 while winning West Group C before succumbing to the Pelicans. New Orleans won West Group B with a 3-1 mark.

The Pelicans shot 54 percent from the field and made 14 of 31 (45.2 percent) from 3-point range. Zion Williamson had 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals for New Orleans.

Sacramento made 44.7 percent of its shots, including 14 of 41 (34.1 percent) from behind the arc.

Valanciunas scored in the interior, Murphy buried a 3-pointer and Ingram and Jones each made two free throws during a 9-0 burst as New Orleans took a 120-105 lead with 3:33 left in the game.

The Kings were unable to get closer than nine in the final minutes.

New Orleans opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run to take a 79-64 on Jones’ 3-pointer with 10:03 left.

The advantage was still 15 after McCollum’s floater with 7:21 remaining before Sacramento scored nine of the next 11 points to move within 89-81 on Sabonis’ basket with 4:56 remaining.

Sacramento later scored eight straight points to cut its deficit to 95-91 with 1:25 left. The Pelicans scored the next five to take a 100-91 lead into the final stanza.

Ingram and Murphy had 13 points apiece as the Pelicans led 69-61 at the break. Sabonis topped Sacramento with 16 first-half points.

–Field Level Media

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