Brandon Ingram lofts a floater at New York

Postgame wrap: Pelicans 123, Knicks 111

Pelicans (14-25), Knicks (10-29)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

NEW YORK – After starting the season 2-11 on the road, New Orleans has now won five of its last seven away contests. After opening 2-9 against the Eastern Conference, the Pelicans have now won that many games against the East over the past three days alone.

Everything seemed to be trending up for New Orleans after Friday’s win in Madison Square Garden, where the visitors relied on ball movement and a few stellar individual performances to control the lead for most of the night on ESPN. The Pelicans dished out a whopping 35 assists – one shy of tying a season high – getting everyone involved while piling up the points. New Orleans improved to 8-3 in its last 11 games overall.

“The whole game it really felt like it was just flowing,” rookie center Jaxson Hayes said of NOLA’s teamwork, after Hayes’ second straight double-double featured 18 points and 10 rebounds. “Everyone was cutting in the right places at the right time and people were making great passes.”

One negative from Friday's win was that Hayes started the second half in place of Derrick Favors, who left the game due to a hamstring strain in the second quarter and did not return. Favors' status for Saturday at Boston is to be determined.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Brandon Ingram drained a three-pointer, giving New Orleans a 111-94 lead with five-plus minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. New York remained within shouting distance early in the fourth quarter, but the visitors continued to pile up points easily and stretch out their edge on the scoreboard.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Ingram was impressive from start to finish, scoring and assisting in prolific fashion in the first quarter, en route to a 28-point, nine-assist, six-rebound night. Two days earlier vs. Chicago, Ingram tied his career high by handing out 11 assists and was nearly as productive finding teammates Friday. He continued to build his impressive efficiency numbers as well, shooting 11/18 from the field and 5/9 from three-point range.

"With (Brandon) Ingram at the 4, he is a matchup problem," New York's Mike Miller said.

BY THE NUMBERS

56, 48: New Orleans shooting percentages from the field and three-point range, respectively. The Pelicans made over two-thirds of their shots in the paint and scored 54 points there.

21/32: Pelicans bench shooting from the floor, an outstanding rate. Hayes shot 7/8, nearly all at the rim, and was a plus-23 in his 29 minutes of action.

4: Quarters won by New Orleans, all by margins of between two and four points, illustrating how the Pelicans methodically built a lead in NYC.

#FANFRIDAY

For Friday games during the regular season, a fan poll question will be asked on Twitter, frequently related to the NBA overall. One unique element of what’s been a very unbalanced New Orleans schedule this season – for example, the Pelicans have played Dallas and Houston a total of six times, but neither Memphis nor San Antonio – is that it’s played relatively few games against the Eastern Conference so far. As a result, 17 of the team’s final 43 games are vs. that conference, making it imperative that New Orleans improves upon its interconference results thus far. In a poll question featuring the Pelicans’ next four East hosts that are outside the top eight in that conference, fans believe Detroit (hosts NOLA on Monday) has the best chance to make a run at reaching the postseason, with Chicago (Feb. 6) next, followed distantly by New York (Friday’s game) and Cleveland (Jan. 28).

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Game 39: Pelicans at Knicks 1/10/20

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