Pelicans, Murphy crush Clippers with deadly shooting performance
The New Orleans Pelicans are not known for being a deadly 3-point shooting team.
Saturday night in Los Angeles, the Pelicans left the Clippers with the indelible impression that they are a terrific shooting team from distance.
New Orleans blistered the nets and distanced itself from the Clippers, winning 131-110 at Crypto.com Arena for its fourth straight win.
The Pelicans made 21 of 34 shots (61.8%) from 3-point range. The 21 made shots from beyond the arc tied the franchise record. New Orleans made 14 of those in the first half.
It started quickly.
The Pelicans jumped out to an 8-0 lead, forcing a Los Angeles timeout just over two minutes into the game. New Orleans tied a season high with nine 3-pointers in the first quarter to pull out to a 37-26 lead and maintained their advantage the rest of the way. The Pelicans were never threatened. The closest Los Angeles came the rest of the way was seven points.
The best shooter on the team showed all of his immense ability as Trey Murphy III made a career high 10 of 12 attempts from 3-point range. Murphy finished with 32 points but he had a lot of help as Brandon Ingram continued his run of excellent games, scoring 32 points and dishing out 13 assists.
C.J. McCollum was solid as well with 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 13 rebounds. Josh Richardson added 13 points off the bench.
The Pelicans scored 28 points off 20 Los Angeles turnovers and blistered the Clippers 45-31 on the boards. The Pelicans scored 54 points in the paint to just 38 for Los Angeles. The Clippers lost despite shooting 52 percent from the field as New Orleans shot 53 percent from the field and 89 percent from the free throw line.
The four-game road trip continues Monday night at Portland before the Pelicans visit defending champion Golden State Tuesday and Western Conference leader Denver on Thursday.
With the daunting task of facing the Warriors on their home floor in the second of a back-to-back against a team that is 30-7 at home before facing the best team in the conference, beating the Blazers is essential for a team now 37-37 and in a three-way tie for seventh with the Lakers and Minnesota in the West with eight games to play.
The Pelicans are now a game ahead of Dallas and Oklahoma City and two games ahead of Portland. The Pelicans are a game and a half behind the Clippers and Warriors and two games back of Phoenix in the jumbled, tightly contested conference race.
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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…