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Mar 24, 2024 5:35 pm

Pelicans cruise past Pistons in wire-to-wire win

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Zion Williamson powered his way to 36 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the host Detroit Pistons 114-101 on Sunday afternoon.

CJ McCollum had 23 points and seven assists, while Naji Marshall supplied 14 points and eight rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas added 13 points.

New Orleans (44-27) has won nine of its last 11 games. Detroit (12-59) has lost six straight.

The Pelicans are playing without second-leading Brandon Ingram, who has a bone bruise in his left knee.

Detroit’s leading scorer, Cade Cunningham, was a late scratch due to left knee soreness.

Jalen Duren (back spasms), Simone Fontecchio (left big toe contusion) and Quentin Grimes (right knee) were among some of the players sitting out for Detroit. Last week, the team ruled out starters Isaiah Stewart and Ausar Thompson for the season.

Chimezie Metu and Malachi Flynn led Detroit with 17 points apiece. Jaden Ivey, the lone healthy starter, had 16 points.

The game played out in a predictable way. Detroit shot 4-for-19 from the field in the first quarter, missing all 10 of its 3-point attempts, and trailed 29-10 when it ended.

New Orleans scored the first seven points, including a McCollum 3-pointer. The Pelicans also scored eight unanswered points midway through the quarter and the last 12 points, with Williamson and Marshall had five points apiece during that span.

The Pistons opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run, capped by a James Wiseman three-point play. New Orleans answered with an 8-0 spurt, with Marshall’s 3-pointer giving the Pelicans a 20-point advantage.

Detroit had a 9-0 run, including two Ivey 3-pointers, that cut New Orleans’ lead to 12.

After the Pistons pulled within 11, the Pelicans finished the quarter with an 8-3 spurt for a 57-41 halftime lead.

Ivey opened the second half with a 3-pointer to cut Detroit’s deficit to 13 but that’s as close as it would come until the late going. The quarter ended with the Pelicans up 83-66.

The Pelicans return to New Orleans for a six-game homestand, while the Pistons will complete a back-to-back set with a road game against the New York Knicks.

–Field Level Media

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