Timberwolves rip outmanned Pelicans
It was predictable and you certainly could see it coming. Once again, the New Orleans Pelicans were undermanned with unavailable players and the result was undesirable.
Minnesota thumped the Pelicans 122-101 in Minneapolis, handing New Orleans its third straight loss Wednesday night.
The Pelicans had little or no chance, playing without Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum and Herb Jones to go along with not having Trey Murphy III, Jose Alvarado and Naji Marshall.
That is six of at least your top 10 players.
Williamson missed the game for personal reasons. Some reports stated he was missing for the impending birth of his child, certainly understandable. Blessings to the family.
McCollum remained out with his collapsed lung.
Jones was out with a right fibula contusion.
Minnesota took a 28-24 lead after one quarter.
Then came the second quarter.
The Timberwolves blitzed the Pelicans 44-20 to take a 72-44 halftime lead. It was game over. There were too many turnovers by the Pelicans.
It was a departure from the norm early this season.
The Pelicans came into the game outscoring opponent by 56 points in the second quarter.
It was the dreaded third quarter which has plagued New Orleans, where they had been outscored by 65 points.
For that matter, the Pelicans have been a very poor second half team, outscored by 95 points in the third and fourth quarter entering Wednesday night.
Brandon Ingram did his part, scoring 24 points with six assists in 32 minutes.
He had little or no help.
Jordan Hawkins had 14 points.
In his first game with the Pelicans, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl got a start and actually did a pretty solid job with 11 points and nine rebounds. Matt Ryan added 12 points off the bench.
The Timberwolves blistered the nets to the tune of 55 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from 3-point range.
New Orleans shot just 38.7 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from 3-point range, which told the story.
Per usual, the Pelicans lost the battle of the boards 48-40.
Minnesota is now 5-2, including 5-0 at home and the Timberwolves lead the league in defensive statistics and they have a brilliant young player in Anthony Edwards, who scored 26 points.
As for the immediate future, it is unclear when Williamson will return. McCollum underwent imaging on his right lung and the team reports it showed positive healing and he will be re-evaluated soon. Alvarado is expected to return to full team practice in 1-2 weeks. The earliest we could see Murphy is late this month.
Now 4-4, the three-game road trip concludes Friday night in Houston.
Once again, it will be all about who plays and who doesn’t. What else is new with this team?
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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…