Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 135, Magic 100
The New Orleans forward combination of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson found gaps in the Orlando defense from mid-range and in the paint, respectively. Meanwhile, everyone else feasted on layups, dunks and three-point scores. Behind one of their finest offensive performances of the season – and a record-setting 45-point second quarter – the Pelicans romped to a much-needed, one-sided victory in Central Florida.
New Orleans led by just two points through 12 minutes, but outscored Orlando by a 45-25 margin in the second period to build a 22-point edge. The 45 points tied a second-quarter franchise record for New Orleans and were the most the Magic have ever allowed in a second quarter in their history, which dates back to 1989-90.
The Pelicans pulled within three games of the final play-in spot by virtue of the victory. They host San Antonio on Saturday, in what will be a very important opportunity to try to close a deficit on the Spurs and clinch a tiebreaking edge on a Southwest Division counterpart.
“One of the things you’d like to have is the tiebreaker,” Pelicans first-year head coach Stan Van Gundy said of a 1-1 season series so far vs. San Antonio. “That’s a big one for Saturday night.”
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
New Orleans reached the century mark in scoring with three-plus minutes remaining in the third quarter, when Ingram sank a leaning mid-range jumper. Ingram’s hoop made it 101-64. Not long after, the Pelicans went up by 42 points, which was their biggest lead of the entire 2020-21 campaign.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ingram was a major tone-setter in the first quarter, repeatedly knocking down mid-range shots to give New Orleans some early momentum. He continued to be accurate from that part of the floor en route to him scoring 29 points on 11/17 shooting in only 29 minutes of action. The Pelicans were plus-36 with him on the court.
Honorable mention goes to Willy Hernangomez, who registered a double-double despite not appearing until the second half and logging just 17 minutes.
BY THE NUMBERS
+15: Plus-minus for center Steven Adams, who only played in the first half before exiting due to left ankle soreness. The other starters all pushed their plus-minus to at least 20 in the second half.
2: Consecutive games in which New Orleans has drained double-digit three-pointers. The Pelicans had gone the previous seven games without sinking more than seven in any contest.
12: New Orleans players who scored (out of 12 who played).
12: Lonzo Ball assists. Eric Bledsoe on how Ball made an impact: “His presence, his energy he brought. Moving the ball, pushing it up the floor, making plays. It was just a different type of energy out there.”
REVISITING THREE KEYS TO VICTORY PRESENTED BY FANDUEL
DOMINATE ON THE GLASS
The league’s No. 1 rebounding team posted a 58-40 margin in boards against Orlando. It was 46-27 in defensive caroms.
DON’T TURN IT OVER
It was an ominous start when New Orleans committed four turnovers quickly in the first quarter, but it only had six at halftime. The Pelicans finished with a so-so 15, but that was a far cry from the 24 committed in the April 1 overtime loss to the Magic.
Early in the second quarter, New Orleans called timeout after a sequence when it gave up too easy of a fast-break score by Orlando, but it was not an issue as the game progressed. The Magic won fast-break points but by only a 15-14 margin.