NBA: Pelicans show balanced scoring in routing Thunder


Posted at Jan 01 2021 03:30 PM

NBA: Pelicans show balanced scoring in routing Thunder 1
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) goes to the basket as New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) defends the shot during the first quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Alonzo Adams, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Brandon Ingram scored 20 points to lift the New Orleans Pelicans to a 113-80 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

Ingram wasn't around for the last quarter-plus, however, after being ejected in the third quarter after a flagrant foul.

But the Pelicans dominated the end, outsourcing the Thunder 28-7 in the fourth quarter, to open up what had been a tight game.

With Steven Adams and Zion Williamson making things difficult down low for the Thunder, Oklahoma City focused its offensive efforts on the perimeter.

The Thunder attempted 29 3-pointers in the first half. Oklahoma City finished 15 of 48 from behind the arc.

Early on, that shooting was good enough to keep Oklahoma City in the game, as the Thunder hit seven 3-pointers in the first quarter.

But New Orleans grabbed the lead late in the first quarter and never relinquished.

The Pelicans hadn't done much 3-point shooting of their own until Ingram got hot and hit bombs just over one minute apart to extend New Orleans' lead to 77-65 with 3:38 left in the third quarter.

Not long after Ingram's 3-point outburst, his night was over. As Oklahoma City's Isaiah Roby went up for a layup, Ingram came from behind and went for the block. Instead, his right arm swiped across Roby's face.

After a review, Ingram was ejected for a flagrant foul with three minutes left in the third.

But by early in the fourth, the Pelicans had put the game out of reach.

New Orleans had seven players score in double figures.

Adams, playing in Oklahoma City as a visitor for the first time after spending his first seven NBA seasons with the Thunder, scored eight of his 14 points in the first quarter.

Al Horford led Oklahoma City with 17 points, going 7 of 9 from the floor. Only one other Oklahoma City player scored in double figures, Mike Muscala with 10.

The Thunder have lost three consecutive games after winning their opener.