Devonte' Graham leaps to make a pass at Minnesota

Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 107, Timberwolves 98

Pelicans (1-3), Timberwolves (2-1)

Devonte’ Graham dropped in a mid-range shot just before the first-half buzzer, then let out a yell that reverberated throughout Target Center as he gave New Orleans a double-digit lead. About 90 minutes later, all of Graham’s Pelicans teammates had reason to howl. After a big third-quarter surge by Minnesota, the Pelicans regained command in the fourth, giving new head coach Willie Green the first victory of his career.

“It's so hard to win in this league,” Green said of win No. 1. “The talent is at such a high level. The coaches and everybody just works at it. It feels great. I’m so happy for our guys in the locker room. They’ve been fighting their tails off, practicing trying to get better. To finally get one win is refreshing. You understand really quick how hard it is to win in this league.”

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Brandon Ingram sank a mid-range jumper with 3:19 left off a feed from Graham, giving New Orleans a 100-88 lead. Ingram tallied six straight points to eventually make it 104-88 near the 2:00 mark and prevent any anxious moments for the visitors.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

With Memphis’ season on the line in a May play-in matchup, Jonas Valanciunas delivered a 20-20 game to eliminate San Antonio. That kind of 20-20 production is nothing new for the 6-foot-11 center, who spearheaded the Pelicans to their first win by notching 22 points and 23 rebounds against the Wolves.

After a rough opener individually vs. Philadelphia, Valanciunas has been extremely productive over the last three games, while facing quality bigs in Nikola Vucevic and Karl-Anthony Towns (twice).

“I’m always looking for the matchups, (against) the big guys,” Valanciunas said. “I’m enjoying playing hard. That’s my game. That’s my style. I’m never going to back down from the big matchup.”

BY THE NUMBERS

34.4: Minnesota shooting percentage from the field. That was actually up considerably from the 25.6 percent the hosts shot in the first half.

10, 12: Valanciunas’ double-double in the first half alone. He then had 12 points and 11 rebounds in the second half, meaning he essentially posted a double-double in both halves.

3: Games on the New Orleans homestand over the rest of Week 2, with visits from Atlanta, Sacramento and New York forthcoming, ahead of a four-game Western Conference road trip to begin November.

#PELSPOTWPOLL

Ingram received nearly three-fourths of fan votes in Week 1 Twitter balloting for Pelicans Player of the Week, a decisive winner. The 2020 All-Star forward averaged 27.0 points per game while contributing in other areas as well. As @JJ6630683 put it, “It’s gotta be BI. He’s been taking charges, tipping in rebounds and playing good defense on top of his scoring/assist game.” NOLA’s starting center picked up one of his votes from @eug504, who wrote “Sorry but it’s Jonas Valanciunas for me. We need to control the boards.” Another nominee, Herbert Jones, was praised by @ryancaz, who tweeted, “Gotta go with Herb Jones. I haven’t seen effort like that from a rookie.” On the group of four nominees overall, @17thWardNO wrote, “This is such a good foundation to build on. A 40% shooter (Graham from three-point range), a 27 ppg scorer, a tenacious rebounder/scorer and a glue guy.”

Jonas Valanciunas on performance in the win | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas speaks on the first win of the season.

2021-22 Game #4: Pelicans at Timberwolves

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Jonas Valanciunas on performance in the win | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas speaks on the first win of the season.
Oct 25, 2021  |  03:34

Brandon Ingram on his game | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Brandon Ingram on Herb Jones and his performance in the win.
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Willie Green on first win | Pelicans at Timberwolves Postgame 10-25-21

Willie Green recaps the first win of the season.
Oct 25, 2021  |  08:06

Devonte' Graham on Herb Jones, first win | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Devonte' Graham speaks on the first win of the season.
Oct 25, 2021  |  05:11

Jonas Valanciunas On-Court Postgame Interview | Pelicans-Timberwolves 10-25-21

New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas speaks with Jen Hale about the team's win & his 22-point, 23 rebound performance against the Timberwolves.
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Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Jonas Valanciunas scores 22 points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Jonas Valanciunas scores 22 points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Oct 25, 2021  |  02:02

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Devonte' Graham scores 21 points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Devonte' Graham scores 21 points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Oct 25, 2021  |  01:59

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Nickeil Alexander-Walker scores 17 points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Nickeil Alexander-Walker scores 17 points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Oct 25, 2021  |  01:57

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Brandon Ingram scores 27 points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Brandon Ingram scores 27 points vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
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Brandon Ingram with the slam | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Brandon Ingram rises for the slam!
Oct 25, 2021  |  00:21

Devonte' Graham with the tough 3 | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Devonte' Graham hits the tough 3 to end the third quarter.
Oct 25, 2021  |  00:16

Brandon Ingram hits an open three off the feed by Devonte' Graham | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Brandon Ingram hits an open three off the feed by Devonte' Graham.
Oct 25, 2021  |  00:18

Devonte' Graham with the floater | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Devonte' Graham hits a pretty floater at the end of the half for the Pelicans.
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Jaxson Hayes block leads to a sweet layup by Nickeil Alexander-Walker | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Jaxson Hayes block leads to a sweet layup by Nickeil Alexander-Walker on the other end.
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Deep 3-pointer by Trey Murphy III off the assist by Devonte' Graham | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Trey Murphy III nails it from deep off the assist by Devonte' Graham.
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Jonas Valanciunas lays it in off the feed from Nickeil Alexander-Walker | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21

Jonas Valanciunas lays it in off the feed from Nickeil Alexander-Walker | Pelicans at Timberwolves 10-25-21
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Herb Jones talks starting role | Pelicans-Timberwolves Shootaround 10/25/21

New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones shootaround interview ahead of the Pelicans game at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, October 25, 2021 at 7pm CST on Bally Sports New Orleans.
Oct 25, 2021  |  02:01

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