Nickeil Alexander-Walker shoots a reverse layup vs. Philadelphia

Panzura postgame wrap: 76ers 117, Pelicans 97

76ers (1-0), Pelicans (0-1)

Teams with greater continuity and familiarity often hold a major advantage in basketball, particularly early in a season. Despite being without one of its two All-Stars from 2020-21, Philadelphia’s edge in chemistry and cohesiveness was evident Wednesday, as the 76ers pulled away from New Orleans in the second half en route to a 20-point victory. The interconference matchup was evenly played for a half, resulting in a 53-all deadlock, but Philadelphia got hot from the perimeter after intermission and put the clamps down defensively against New Orleans. The home team only managed 17 third-quarter points, creating a double-digit hole.

Ben Simmons was suspended for Wednesday’s game by Philadelphia, but the 76ers relied on a fast start by All-Star center Joel Embiid and 20-plus points from three other players.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Philadelphia rained in a series of deep jumpers early in the fourth quarter, building a 16-point lead with seven-plus minutes remaining. Furkan Korkmaz sent a few fans to the exits by pulling up on a fast break and swishing a bomb from the left wing, making it 98-79 at 7:00.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Nickeil Alexander-Walker continued a trend he’s maintained since the latter part of his rookie year, excelling as a starter. Given the starting nod along with Devonte’ Graham in the backcourt, Alexander-Walker played aggressively all game, dropping in 14 first-half points and finishing with 23.

BY THE NUMBERS

13/25: Philadelphia three-point shooting, a major factor in turning a tight affair into a decisive margin.

41: Combined points by New Orleans starting guards Alexander-Walker and Graham, who shot a combined 15/25 from the field and 8/14 from three-point range.

20-9: Philadelphia edge in foul shots attempted. The Pelicans only had one game all of last season in which they shot fewer than 10 free throws.

#WESTERNCONFERENCEWEDNESDAY

Trying to predict how the upcoming season will unfold seems like a fairly impossible task, but if New Orleans is a contender for the West play-in tournament, some of its most formidable competition could come from the likes of Minnesota, Sacramento and San Antonio. In a Twitter poll, the Timberwolves were the overwhelming pick as the biggest threat among that trio to reach the play-in round in the West, receiving 60 percent of votes (the Kings and Spurs both less than 25 percent of the ballots). As @xk_tweets responded, “Minnesota. Feels like they are the most complete team of the three, Edwards should make a mini-leap this year, and if D’Angelo Russell is healthy all season, they have a ton of firepower.”

Nickeil Alexander-Walker Postgame Interview | Pelicans-76ers 10-20-2021

New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker's postgame interview following the Pelicans' game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 20, 2021.

2021-22 Game #1: Pelicans vs. 76ers

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Nickeil Alexander-Walker Postgame Interview | Pelicans-76ers 10-20-2021

New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker's postgame interview following the Pelicans' game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 20, 2021.
Oct 20, 2021  |  04:00

Brandon Ingram Postgame Interview | Pelicans-76ers 10-20-2021

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram's postgame interview following the Pelicans' game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 20, 2021.
Oct 20, 2021  |  04:20

Devonte' Graham Postgame Interview | Pelicans-76ers 10-20-2021

New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham's postgame interview following the Pelicans' game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 20, 2021.
Oct 20, 2021  |  04:00

Willie Green Postgame Interview | Pelicans-76ers 10-20-2021

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green's postgame interview following the Pelicans' game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 20, 2021.
Oct 20, 2021  |  07:30

Top Plays from New Orleans Pelicans vs. Philadelphia 76ers 10-20-2021

Top Plays from New Orleans Pelicans vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 10/20/2021
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Highlights: Brandon Ingram scores 25 vs. Philadelphia 76ers 10-20-21

Brandon Ingram (25 points) Highlights vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 10/20/2021
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Trey Murphy III bangs home the trifecta for his first NBA points

Trey Murphy III bangs home the trifecta for his first NBA points
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Brandon Ingram rises above multiple 76ers for the dunk!

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram with the big dunk vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (10/20/2021).
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Pelicans 3rd quarter highlights vs. Philadelphia 76ers 10-20-2021

New Orleans Pelicans vs. the Philadelphia 76ers 3rd quarter highlights (10/20/2021).
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Nickeil Alexander-Walker with a pair of triples | Pelicans-76ers Highlights

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (10/20/2021).
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Pelicans 2nd quarter highlights vs. Philadelphia 76ers 10-20-2021

New Orleans Pelicans vs. the Philadelphia 76ers 2nd quarter highlights (10/20/2021).
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Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (10/20/2021).
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Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (10/20/2021).
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Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart with the steal on defense then the finish in transition vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (10/20/2021).
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Devonte' Graham hits his first 3 as a Pelican!

Devonte' Graham hits his first 3 as a Pelican!
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Pelicans 1st quarter highlights vs. Philadelphia 76ers 10-20-2021

New Orleans Pelicans vs. the Philadelphia 76ers 1st quarter highlights (10/20/2021).
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Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram with the big block on defense then the finish in transition on the other end vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (10/20/2021).
Oct 20, 2021  |  00:38

Jonas Valančiūnas STRONG dunk in transition | 76ers-Pelicans

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valančiūnas finishing with the dunk vs. the Philadelphia 76ers (10/20/2021).
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Pelicans center Jonas Valančiūnas talks to the media following shootaround on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 about signing his extension and what he sees in this team.
Oct 20, 2021  |  03:53

Brandon Ingram on Valančiūnas extension, starting with a win | Pelicans Shootaround 10/20/21

Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram talks to the media about Jonas Valančiūnas receiving an extension and starting the season off on the right foot following shootaround on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
Oct 20, 2021  |  03:34

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Get hype for the start of the 2021-22 NBA season as the New Orleans Pelicans host the Philadelphia 76ers on opening night for the NBA's 75th anniversary season.
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