Zion Williamson drives against Nicolas Batum

Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 135, Clippers 115

Pelicans (17-22), Clippers (25-15)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Lonzo Ball started the night sinking threes and never really let up. Jaxson Hayes was dunking on people. Zion Williamson powered and soared his way to another big scoring night.

Behind an intense and aggressive performance, New Orleans registered a second straight blowout win in the Smoothie King Center on Sunday, this time steamrolling one of the NBA’s title contenders. The Pelicans went up by 40 on Cleveland two nights earlier en route to a 34-point victory; this time they put it out of reach in the third quarter while dismantling LA.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

New Orleans thoroughly dominated the first three quarters, building a 110-83 lead entering the final 12 minutes. It was the hosts’ biggest margin to that stage of Sunday’s game (it later became a 33-point differential). Clippers head coach Ty Lue emptied his bench at the beginning of the fourth quarter, acknowledging the decided outcome.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Ball put up nine points in the opening minutes on 3/3 shooting beyond the arc and looked ultra-confident in his jumper all game. The UCLA product netted 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists, finishing 5/8 on three-pointers.

"Lonzo got us off to a great start shooting the three and opening up the floor," Stan Van Gundy said of the point guard.

BY THE NUMBERS

65.4: New Orleans shooting percentage from the field, the best rate by any NBA team in any game during the 2020-21 regular season.

38: Pelicans assists, two shy of tying the franchise record. Van Gundy noted postgame that the assists came from everywhere. Six different players handed out four-plus assists, including four starters.

18: Pelicans turnovers. Hard to believe but true that New Orleans still managed to score 135 points despite a high-turnover outing.

79-50: New Orleans scoring edge in the first and third quarters, which were mostly played by the starting fives of each team.

REVISITING THREE KEYS TO VICTORY PRESENTED BY FAN DUEL

L.A. DUO VS LA. DUO

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 38 points, but needed 26 shots to do so, with George struggling at 5/14 from the floor. It was a rough offensive night for nearly every other key Clipper except Reggie Jackson. Not only did Williamson and Brandon Ingram (50 combined points) outproduce L.A.'s duo, but the rest of the Pelicans also were much better than their Clipper counterparts.

SECOND-UNIT BACKCOURT TEST

The bad news was Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s ankle sprain sidelined him after only playing six first-half minutes. Kira Lewis Jr. turned in a solid performance, while Clippers longtime sixth-man force Lou Williams was held to six points. Williams has averaged just 4.0 points vs. New Orleans this season in two games.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

Tremendous night for New Orleans here. The NBA’s top three-point shooting team by percentage, LA shot just 5/19 in the first half and went 15/43 overall, making the final number look better late by hitting a few in mop-up time. Just as importantly as their denial of threes, Pelicans backcourt players were disruptive from the get-go, scrapping for steals and deflections.

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame Interview: Jaxson Hayes 3-14-21

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame: New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the LA Clippers (3/14/21).

2020-21 Game #39: Pelicans vs. Clippers

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Pelicans-Clippers Postgame Interview: Jaxson Hayes 3-14-21

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame: New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the LA Clippers (3/14/21).
Mar 15, 2021  |  05:20

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame Interview: Lonzo Ball 3-14-21

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame: New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the LA Clippers (3/14/21).
Mar 15, 2021  |  02:32

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame Interview: Kira Lewis Jr. 3-14-21

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame: New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr. postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the LA Clippers (3/14/21).
Mar 15, 2021  |  02:43

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame Interview: Zion Williamson 3-14-21

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame: New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the LA Clippers (3/14/21).
Mar 15, 2021  |  05:47

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame Interview: Stan Van Gundy 3-14-21

Pelicans-Clippers Postgame: New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy postgame interview following the Pelicans game against the LA Clippers (3/14/21).
Mar 14, 2021  |  09:57

Jaxson Hayes scores 17 points | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes scores 17 points in Sunday's win over the Clippers.
Mar 14, 2021  |  01:58

Lonzo Ball notches 20 points | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball scores 20 points in Sunday's win over the Clippers.
Mar 14, 2021  |  01:59

Brandon Ingram pours in 23 points | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram scores 23 points in Sunday's win over the Clippers.
Mar 14, 2021  |  01:57

Zion Williamson totals 27 points | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson scores 27 points in Sunday's win over the Clippers.
Mar 14, 2021  |  01:59

New Orleans Pelicans vs. LA Clippers highlights

New Orleans Pelicans Highlights vs. LA Clippers, 03/14/2021
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:01

Josh Hart assist to Zion Williamson | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart finds Zion Williamson in transition for the bucket.
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:10

Jaxson Hayes thunderous dunk | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes puts the defender on a poster with the one-handed dunk.
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:28

Zion Williamson alley-oop | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson throws down the alley-oop slam off the Eric Bledsoe assist.
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:12

Josh Hart triple | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart buries the wing three-pointer.
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:09

Jaxson Hayes put-back score | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes gathers the offensive rebound and scores the basket plus the foul.
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:25

Kira Lewis Jr. steal and score | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr. creates the turnover and converts the layup on the offensive end.
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:08

Zion Williamson dunk | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson blows by the defender for the two-hand dunk in transition.
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:23

Brandon Ingram slam | Pelicans-Clippers Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe finds the cutting Brandon Ingram for the two-hand slam.
Mar 14, 2021  |  00:08

Pelicans-Clippers Shootaround: Nickeil Alexander-Walker 3-14-21

New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker talks about his confidence and letting the game come to him following the team's shootaround on March 14, 2021.
Mar 14, 2021  |  05:40

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