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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 10, 2024 12:36 am

Pelicans handle Blazers, move into coveted sixth spot in West

Pelicans Trail Blazers

Trey Murphy registered 31 points and eight rebounds and CJ McCollum added 29 points as the New Orleans Pelicans notched a pivotal 110-100 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Zion Williamson had 22 points and seven rebounds as New Orleans (47-32) moved into sixth place in the Western Conference, thanks to the Phoenix Suns losing to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Pelicans have three games remaining as they look to hang on to the automatic playoff spot.

Murphy and McCollum — the latter a former Portland standout — each made five 3-pointers as the Pelicans defeated the Trail Blazers for the sixth straight time.

Deandre Ayton recorded 30 points and 13 rebounds and rookie Scoot Henderson added 19 points and a career-high 15 assists for Portland (21-58), which lost for the 12th time in the past 14 games. Henderson’s assists output is the most by a rookie in Trail Blazers’ history.

Kris Murray added 14 points while Duop Reath and Dalano Banton each scored 10 points for Portland.

New Orleans shot 41.4 percent from the field, including 11 of 36 from 3-point range. The Pelicans shot 93.1 percent (27 of 29) from the free-throw line while Portland was 7 of 8 (87.5 percent).

The Trail Blazers made just 47.1 percent of their attempts and were 13 of 38 from behind the arc. Portland was sloppy with the ball and Henderson committed eight of the team’s 21 turnovers.

The Pelicans led 87-78 entering the final stanza before Portland moved within eight on Murray’s trey. Williamson then scored the next five points and Herbert Jones followed with two free throws to push the New Orleans lead to 96-81 with 7:50 remaining in the game.

Murphy made two free throws to boost the lead to 104-85 with 4:42 left before Portland later narrowed its losing margin.

Ayton scored 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting in the first half as Portland led 55-52 at the break. McCollum scored 17 points in the half for New Orleans.

The contest was tied at 67 after Ayton’s basket with 8:16 left in the third quarter. New Orleans scored 20 of the next 28 points and took an 87-75 lead on Murphy’s 3-pointer with 1:52 left in the third.

–Field Level Media

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