Panzura postgame wrap: Clippers 119, Pelicans 100

New Orleans looked like a juggernaut in its three previous meetings against the Clippers this season, but Sunday was one of those nights where everything seemed to tilt in LA’s favor. In their first opportunity to clinch a Western Conference play-in berth, a combination of too many Pelicans turnovers and red-hot Clippers perimeter shooting quickly turned the matchup into a one-sided affair. In a potential preview of a play-in bracket game, LA sealed its position as the No. 8 seed in the West.

The Clippers held a 29-13 edge in the second quarter, turning a six-point margin into a 22-point differential by intermission.

“It was an uphill battle from there,” Pelicans head coach Willie Green said. “We never seemed to find our rhythm.”

New Orleans remained in the No. 9 spot, but saw its lead over 10th-place San Antonio (33-45) sliced to one game. The Spurs are increasingly more likely to be the Pelicans’ opponent in the 9-10 play-in opener, now holding a two-game lead and a tiebreaking advantage over the Lakers (31-47). The Lakers need to win at least three of their four remaining games to have a chance to avoid elimination.


The Clippers tracked down an offensive rebound, leading to a Marcus Morris three-pointer from the left wing that gave the hosts an 81-56 lead at the 6:00 mark of the third quarter.


Off the bench, forward Naji Marshall was the rare New Orleans player to turn in an above average game, prior to exiting in the fourth quarter after an accidental collision on defense with Larry Nance Jr. In Marshall’s 16 minutes, he scored 10 points, including going 4/4 on free throws.


1: New Orleans magic number to qualify for the West play-in tournament after the Lakers lost Sunday afternoon to Denver. The Pelicans can get the job done as soon as Tuesday at Sacramento (or if the Lakers lose that night in Phoenix).

12/19: Clippers first-half three-point shooting, led by 4/5 accuracy from Paul George. They finished 21/44 for the game.

5, 8:30: Tip-off times announced by the NBA for New Orleans’ pair of games next weekend (at Memphis on Saturday; home Sunday vs. Golden State).



A bid to go undefeated against both Los Angeles franchises in the same season – for the first time in New Orleans history – got out to a bad start when the Clippers went 8/8 from three-point range in the first quarter. The hosts showed little letup from there.


Jose Alvarado and Trey Murphy III were basically newcomers Sunday to the Pelicans-Clippers matchup, because they filled minimal roles earlier in the season. Murphy logged a modest 17 minutes Sunday, while Alvarado played eight, with Green citing Clippers lineups and matchups for why the reserve PG was on the floor less compared to recently.


For the first time in four matchups this season, Jonas Valanciunas did not perform at an All-NBA level, posting eight points and nine boards in 22 minutes. Clippers counterpart Ivica Zubac rumbled to 16 points and 14 rebounds in 25 minutes.