Pelicans beat Mavericks despite losing Brandon Ingram to ankle injury

Pelicans beat Mavericks despite losing Brandon Ingram to ankle injury
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On the same night the New Orleans Pelicans announced that Zion Williamson will miss at least two more weeks with a hamstring injury, the team lost Brandon Ingram to a right ankle sprain.

In the second quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, Ingram began moving gingerly after appearing to twist his right ankle. He tried to play before deciding he was in too much pain to continue. He signaled to the bench to come out, and he limped into the bowels of the Smoothie King Center with 1:22 remaining in the first half and never returned.

Without their top two players, the Pelicans still did enough to take care of the Dallas Mavericks, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back. New Orleans held Dallas star Luka Doncic in check as it earned a 113-106 win at Smoothie King Center.

Doncic scored 15 points on 4-of-14 shooting. He exited the game late in the third quarter with a left thigh strain. New Orleans, which had lost six of seven games before facing Dallas, notched its second win post-All-Star break.

“That’s what it’s going to take for us,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “Control the controllable. We can follow the game plan. We can execute. We can limit our turnovers. We can rebound. We can play harder than the other teams. That has to be our focus coming down the stretch.”

The Pelicans led by double digits for most of the game, but the night did not start well. They fell behind by eight points less than five minutes into the game. The Mavericks took advantage of Jonas Valanciunas, who picked up two fouls with 10:40 remaining in the first quarter.

But New Orleans steadily chipped away at Dallas’ lead, and in the second quarter, it wrestled away control of the game.

Reserve big man Jaxson Hayes helped change the imprint of the game. He provided explosive finishing at the rim and defensive versatility. He had 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting. New Orleans outscored Dallas by 11 points in his 24 minutes on the floor. 

“He was great, man,” said Herb Jones, who scored 14 points, about Hayes. “He played hard. Did what he was supposed to defensively and offensively. I think the biggest thing that I took away from it was he played super hard. He didn’t really dwell on his mistakes when he made some. Had short-term memory. And stuck to the game plan.”

The Pelicans expanded their lead to as many as 19 points in the second half. Minus Doncic, the Mavericks were still able to make the game interesting.

Dallas guard Kyrie Irving caught a rhythm. With 4:11 remaining, Irving made a layup to slice New Orleans’ lead to three points.

That was when CJ McCollum took the game over. He hit a midrange jumper and then three straight 3-pointers. He got a running layup to go with 44.5 seconds remaining. McCollum scored five baskets in the final four minutes of the game. He racked up 16 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter. It was McCollum’s first 30-point game since Jan. 11. 

“CJ is always looking to attack,” Jones said. “But after he seen one go, you could see he had it going. We just tried to do a good job of giving the ball to him in the spots he wanted it.”

The Pelicans improved to 21-11 at Smoothie King Center this season. They have three games remaining on their homestand.

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About Marc Lemoine 1853 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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