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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Mar 19, 2024 10:21 pm

Pelicans keep up winning ways, dispose of Nets

Nets Pelicans

Zion Williamson collected 28 points, seven rebounds and four assists as the New Orleans Pelicans continued their playoff push by leading virtually the entire way in a 104-91 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night in New York.

The Pelicans (42-26) clinched consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2007-08 and 2008-09 and earned their 22nd road win. New Orleans also improved to 16-5 in its past 21 games and moved within a half-game of the fourth-place Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference.

Williamson scored 20 of his points in the second as the Pelicans maintained control, and his presence helped New Orleans dominate the paint 52-32 for the game.

He highlighted an 11-of-16 night from the field with a two-handed dunk off a high, no-look lob pass by Naji Marshall over Brooklyn’s Dorian Finney-Smith that put New Orleans ahead 91-74 with 10:21 left in the fourth quarter.

CJ McCollum helped New Orleans seize control early by scoring 13 of his 16 points. Larry Nance Jr. contributed 13 and 10 boards for the game, while Herbert Jones and Brandon Ingram added 11 apiece. The Pelicans shot 50.6 percent overall.

Cam Thomas led the Nets with 25 points but had little help as the Nets (26-43) lost for the sixth time in seven games and dropped 4 1/2 games behind the 10th-place Atlanta Hawks for the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference.

Mikal Bridges added 15 points and Dennis Schroder finished with 12 but the duo combined to shoot 8-of-23 as the team shot 36.9 percent overall.

McCollum and Nance combined for 18 points as the Pelicans shot 55 percent and led 27-21 after the opening quarter.

New Orleans opened the second on an 11-2 run and built a 38-23 lead a little over three minutes into quarter. The Pelicans took a 47-25 lead on McCollum’s basket with 6:39 left and were ahead 64-45 at halftime.

The Nets trimmed the deficit to 68-57 early in the third on a 3-pointer by Thomas but did not get any closer.

New Orleans countered Brooklyn’s comeback try with a 15-5 spurt to take an 83-62 lead on a jumper by Jonas Valanciunas with 5:04 left and held an 85-69 lead into the fourth.

–Field Level Media

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