Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 135, Clippers 115
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.
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.