NBA: Pelicans drop Trail Blazers for third straight win

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 22 2021 01:06 PM

New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas (17) shoots over Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Stephen Lew, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas (17) shoots over Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Stephen Lew, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Brandon Ingram hit for 28 points and Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 22 of his 27 in the second half as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 111-97 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Josh Hart added 20 points, Willy Hernangomez had 13 off the bench, Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 16 rebounds and Devonte' Graham scored 10 for the Pelicans.

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 39 points. Jusuf Nurkic added 17, Norman Powell had 16 and Larry Nance Jr. scored 10.

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Powell made a 3-pointer to start the third quarter to give the Blazers a 52-51 lead. But Hart scored seven points during a 14-0 run that gave the Pelicans a 65-52 lead with 8:31 left in the quarter.

New Orleans led by 13 on two more occasions before Powell scored nine, Lillard seven and Nance six as Portland climbed within one. Alexander-Walker made a basket to extend the Pelicans' lead to 81-78 at the end of the third quarter.

Robert Covington's basket started the fourth-quarter scoring and got the Blazers within one point before Alexander-Walker scored 11 straight New Orleans points to give the Pelicans a 92-83 lead with 8:46 left.

Lillard had five points as Portland scored eight straight, but Ingram's basket started a 7-0 New Orleans run that produced a 99-91 lead with 4:31 left, and the Blazers didn't threaten after that.

The score was tied four times and the lead changed hands three times before the Pelicans took a 24-21 lead at the end of the first quarter.

New Orleans pushed the lead to six early in the second quarter before Lillard's 3-pointer completed a 7-0 run that gave Portland a 31-30 lead.

Ingram's jumper gave the Pelicans the lead briefly before Lillard's 3-pointer and Nance's layup gave the Blazers a 36-32 lead.

The Blazers increased the lead to six points twice, but Ingram scored 10 points in the last 2:38 of the quarter as New Orleans took a 51-49 halftime lead.