Postgame wrap: Pelicans 115, Trail Blazers 104
New Orleans is starting to get some of its injured players back. The wins are beginning to come in greater frequency as well.
With leading scorer Brandon Ingram and key reserve Frank Jackson back in action Tuesday after missing recent games to injury, the Pelicans took over in the second half and bested the Trail Blazers, in Carmelo Anthony’s Portland debut. Since starting 1-7, New Orleans has won four of its last six games, including a three-game winning streak in the Smoothie King Center.
New Orleans prevailed by a comfortable margin despite shooting 43.6 percent from the field, as well as Portland being red-hot from three-point range, going 16/29.
“Overall, we played hard, we competed hard,” Alvin Gentry said. “So did (Portland). It’s a win for us. We need all the wins we can get right now.”
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
E’Twaun Moore cut to the basket for an easy left-handed layup, giving New Orleans a 14-point lead with four-plus minutes remaining. A couple possessions later, JJ Redick swished a corner three-pointer, matching the hosts’ biggest lead of the night at 109-93.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jrue Holiday was equally effective in both halves, scoring 11 points before and after intermission on a 22-point night. He also dished out 10 assists and grabbed five rebounds. Off the bench, Nicolo Melli continued his recent stellar play, notching double-digit points for a third straight game. He had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists against the Trail Blazers.
BY THE NUMBERS
13: Portland attempts from the foul line, a big positive for a New Orleans defense that has often allowed too many free throws.
13: New Orleans turnovers, a nice low number that contributed to the Pelicans still being able to put up 115 points amid some shooting struggles.
54-48: Pelicans rebounding advantage, led by 14 from Kenrich Williams.
For all 12 Tuesday games throughout New Orleans’ regular season, we’ll be selecting a Pelicans player we think will have the best plus-minus on the stat sheet that night. Daniel Sallerson selected Nickeil Alexander-Walker, while Jim Eichenhofer picked Kenrich Williams. In a fan poll among four other candidates, Brandon Ingram was chosen. The winner of the second plus-minus contest was the fans, who rode a plus-16 evening by Ingram. That makes the season standings Jim 1, Fans 1, Daniel 0.
Oct. 22 at Toronto, Jim – Nicolo Melli (Daniel pick: Brandon Ingram; Fans: Jrue Holiday)