Pelicans edge Pacers with big edge in paint, free throw line

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon

It was all about which flavor you preferred.

The New Orleans Pelicans dominated inside.

The Indiana Pacers dominated outside.

The result was an evenly played game which came down to the final minute.

In the end of a contest which featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes, the team with the big edge inside gained a narrow inside track to victory.

The Pelicans were poor from 3-point range, sinking just 20 percent (6-of-30) and still won.

Five of those made 3-pointers were by Devonte Graham, who came up big in one of his best games of the season.

Graham scored 25 points, including nailing 5-of-9 from 3-point range. New Orleans needed his scoring in the absence of Brandon Ingram, who was out with an ankle sprain. Graham stepped up in huge fashion, considering he was operating on a sore ankle which had him questionable to participate.

Josh Hart continued his consistently good production with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Jonas Valanciunas continued his consistently excellent production with his 32nd double-double, scoring 16 points with 12 rebounds. Valanciunas added six assists. Hart turned an ankle in the game but was able to return.

New Orleans got much needed balanced scoring with six players in double figures. Garrett Temple, inserted into the starting lineup for Ingram, along with Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker each contributed 14 points, though Alexander-Walker was 0-for-5 from 3-point range but he sank two free throws with two seconds left to clinch the victory.

The Pacers dominated from the perimeter, sinking 19-of-46 (41.3%) from 3-point range, outscoring New Orleans 57-18 from beyond the arc.

The Pelicans offset that deficiency in the paint and at the free throw line.

New Orleans pounded Indiana 64-32 in the paint and the Pelicans, who have struggled often from the free throw line, sank 29-of-31 attempts, outscoring Indiana 29-18 from the charity stripe.

The Pelicans took care of the ball with just 11 turnovers compared to 17 for the Pacers.

It was a game, at home, which New Orleans simply had to win.

Despite being without Ingram and, of course, Zion Williamson, the Pacers were without top players Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner.

With the win, the Pelicans got to .500 at 11-11 at home on the season.

Now 18-28 overall, New Orleans is 11th in the Western Conference, two games behind Portland for the coveted 10th play-in spot.

There is no rest for the weary.

The Pelicans had to jump on a plane to Philadelphia to face the 76ers in a make-up game tonight, a very tall task. New Orleans is likely to be without Ingram, Graham and Hart have sore ankles and the team had to sell out to win Monday night.

Interestingly, the Sixers are just 10-10 at home, despite being 27-19 overall.

It will be a tall task for Willie Green’s team but you can bet they will play hard, as they do nightly.

  • < PREV Basketball: Carver, Mandeville among Monday winners
  • NEXT > USFL to host all 2022 season games in Birmingham

Ken Trahan

CEO/Owner

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…

Read more >