Pelicans’ comeback falls short against Pacers in first game of mini-series between teams

Pelicans' comeback falls short against Pacers in first game of mini-series between teams
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The New Orleans Pelicans were stalled on the runway for hours as they tried to fly out of New York on Tuesday night.

A mechanical issue caused the Pelicans to change planes before flying to the Midwest. They did not arrive in Indianapolis until after 5 a.m.

The Pelicans looked a step slow early on in Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. They fell behind by 20 points early in the second quarter. And while they showed fight in a national TV contest, they could not keep up with Tyrese Haliburton — the NBA’s assist leader — and the Pacers’ uptempo attack.

The Pelicans lost to the Pacers 123-114 on Wednesday.

The Pelicans cut the Pacers’ lead to three points with 3:10 remaining on a CJ McCollum jumper, but New Orleans could not complete the comeback.

“For us to get down 20 and battle back against a really good team and give ourselves a chance to win, this was a growth moment,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “We know there are still some things we could do better. But we are extremely proud of the effort tonight.”

The Pelicans (35-25) fell to 18-13 on the road this season. After going 1-1 on a short road trip, they face the Pacers again on Friday at home.

Early in the second quarter, Zion Williamson got blocked at the rim. The Pacers raced the other way for an easy basket. With his team trailing by 20 points, Green burned his second timeout of the game.

Green got the response he wanted. By halftime, the Pelicans had sliced the Pacers’ lead to 11 points.

Brandon Ingram kept the game competitive. He scored 30 points by attacking the rim frequently. He shot a perfect 13 of 13 from the free-throw line.

The Pelicans opted to start the second half with Larry Nance Jr. in Jonas Valanciunas’ place. Going small against the speedy Pacers contributed to the Pelicans climbing back into the game. Nance and Williamson took turns at center for New Orleans in the second half.

Williamson missed five of his first six shots, but he finished with 21 points on 10-of-20 shooting.

McCollum, who returned after missing two games with a left ankle sprain, scored 23 points. He connected on five 3s.

“I don’t think he’s 100%, 110%, but he gave us what he had tonight,” Green said. “And its was good to get him on the floor. He looked fantastic. Hopefully, we can continue to progress from there.”

With 2:29 left, Herb Jones made a pair of free throws to get New Orleans within four points of the lead. Haliburton responded by finding teammate Pascal Siakam for a cutting layup on Indiana’s next possession.

Haliburton scored 17 points and dished out 13 assists. Siakam scored 24 points for Indiana.

The Pacers outscored the Pelicans 21-8 in fast-break points. 

“We are learning that these guys are connected,” Green said about his team. “They care. They go out every practice, every shootaround, every game and give us everything they have. There are a lot of games we win. There are games we fall short. But that’s a mentally tough group we have in that locker room.”

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About Marc Lemoine 1529 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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