Pelicans come up short in shootout to Nets, 134-129
Make it four straight losses for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Despite shooting 56 percent from the field, despite facing a Brooklyn team without James Harden and Kevin Durant, the Pelicans fell short, losing a 134-129 shootout at Smoothie King Center.
In a close game throughout, New Orleans led 29-26 after one quarter and 59-57 at halftime. The Nets took a 93-92 lead going to the fourth quarter.
As usual, Zion Williamson was both efficient and brilliant but it was not enough.
Williamson scored 33 points, going 14-of-19 from the field with seven rebounds and four assists, though he did have four turnovers, including one in the final seconds which cost the Pelicans any shot at extending the game.
Brandon Ingram scored 27 points with five assists and four rebounds.
Naji Marshall did his part again, scoring 15 points off the bench, though he was just 2-of-8 from 3-point range.
Kira Lewis Jr. was solid with 11 points and four assists off the bench.
Lonzo Ball played better, scoring 15 points but New Orleans got whipped 44-37 on the boards, a statistic the Pelicans typically win.
Additionally, New Orleans was poor from the free throw line, making just 15-of-24 attempts (62.5%).
The Pelicans allowed Brooklyn to shoot 55.1 percent from the field.
In the final quarter, the Pelicans took a 95-93 lead on a 3-pointer by Marshall with 11:39 to play in the game. That proved to be the final lead of the game for the Pelicans.
Kyrie Irving scored eight points in the final minute and forced a decisive turnover. Irvin finished with 32 points.
Yes, the Nets are an elite team that can outscore anyone but they were without two of their three stars.
Yes, the Pelicans again failed to defend effectively enough to have a chance to win.
Yes, New Orleans is heading nowhere but to the lottery, once again.
The prospects of reaching the play-in tournament are fading fast for the Pelicans, who now trail Golden State and San Antonio by four games for the 10th and final spot with just 14 games to play.
Once again, with the game on the line, the Pelicans failed, which has been the norm of late and most of the season.
That explains the team’s disappointing 25-33 record.
New Orleans visits Orlando Thursday.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…