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Mar 22, 2024 10:33 pm

CJ McCollum steps up with 30 points as Pelicans crush Heat

Pelicans, Heat

CJ McCollum scored a game-high 30 points as the New Orleans Pelicans routed the host Miami Heat 111-88 on Friday night.

New Orleans (43-27) improved to 23-14 on the road. Miami (38-32) dropped to 17-16 at home.

The Pelicans won for the eighth time in 10 games, and they did it despite a quiet game from Zion Williamson and the injury absence of Brandon Ingram (left knee). They are the Pelicans’ top two scorers.

Williamson was held to four points on 2-for-7 shooting. That snapped his streak of seven straight games scoring at least 20 points. He averaged 27.3 points during that stretch.

It was New Orleans’ first win in Miami since December 2017. The Heat had beaten the Pelicans seven straight times overall.

Miami, just 3-6 in its past nine games, was led by Jimmy Butler (17 points). Heat center Bam Adebayo added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Heat’s frustration was exemplified in the second quarter when they failed to score on a four-on-two fastbreak. On the other end, McCollum banked in a 3-pointer.

Miami was without Duncan Robinson (back), Tyler Herro (foot), Kevin Love (heel) and Josh Richardson (shoulder) did not play.

Miami led for the entire first quarter until New Orleans closed the period on a 14-2 run, taking a 21-20 lead. The Heat shot just 2-for-15 from beyond the arc in the quarter. The Pelicans made 4-of-7 from deep.

McCollum, after a scoreless first quarter (0-for-3 shooting), caught fire with 12 points in the second period on 5-for-7 shooting, including 2-of-4 from deep.

McCollum’s performance helped New Orleans extend its lead to 46-42 at halftime. Miami shot just 32.6 percent in the first half, including 5-of-26 on 3-pointers (19.2 percent).

New Orleans made 8-of-17 on 3-pointers (47.1 percent), but the Heat stayed in the game with a 16-2 edge in points off turnovers.

Early in the third quarter, the Pelicans put together an 11-0 run, and they pushed their lead to 14 points. By the end of the period, New Orleans led 76-66.
The Pelicans were never threatened in the fourth quarter.

For the game, New Orleans shot 51.2 percent, including 18-of-36 on 3-pointers.

Miami shot 36 percent, including 13-of-47 on 3-pointers (27.7 percent).

–Field Level Media

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