Brandon Ingram scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to help the New Orleans Pelicans hold on for the win in Phoenix.
‼️ B.I. 4TH Q TAKEOVER ‼️@B_Ingram13 scored 15 4th Q points (28 total) to lead the @PelicansNBA to victory! #WontBowDown pic.twitter.com/lbRmq91e68- NBA (@NBA) November 22, 2019
By defeating the Phoenix Suns 124-121, the Pelicans have now won three consecutive games and have gone 5-2 after starting off 1-7. As a result of the win, the Pelicans handed the Suns their third consecutive loss, with their previous two coming against the Boston Celtics at home and in Sacramento.
From an entertaining second game of a two-game slate, here are the biggest takeaways:
JJ Redick starts hot, Ingram seals it
Sharpshooting veteran JJ Redick continued his hot form from the last six games. Here's a look at what he's been doing over the last six games (including this one):
That's good for averages of 22.5 points on 42-of-84 (50.0%) shooting from the field and 30-of-59 (50.8%) from beyond the arc.
In this one against the Suns, he made his first five field-goal attempts and scored 14 points over the first eight minutes of the game, helping the Pelicans take a 28-17 early lead.
JJ REDICK HAS THE HOT HAND! 🔥- NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) November 22, 2019
14 PTS, 5-5 FGM, 3-3 3PM pic.twitter.com/VpiMy5NayX
However, the suns outscored the Pelicans 33-21 in the second quarter, to take a 13-point lead at half, capped off this Kelly Oubre Jr. triple at the buzzer.
17 PTS & the triple to end the 1st half!- NBA (@NBA) November 22, 2019
Kelly Oubre Jr. leads the @Suns with a 66-59 halftime lead. #RisePHX pic.twitter.com/SbqNT2ZRxl
In the third, the Pelicans fought back and brought the deficit to five before entering the fourth. In the final period, Ingram, playing all 12 minutes, took over and scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting (including a personal 9-0 run) to help the team begin their three-game road trip with a win.
While Redick and Ingram had their spells of taking over the game, point guard Jrue Holiday was a rock. In 37 minutes, he finished with an invaluable 23 points and nine assists on an efficient 10-of-19 shooting from the field, pulling the strings for the Pels all night.
Lonzo Ball returns to the line-up
After missing the last six games, Lonzo Ball returned to the line-up for this one. A key member of the Pelicans-Lakers trade this past offseason, Ball came off the bench and played 19 minutes.
Less than six seconds after checking into the game in the first quarter, he knocked down a three-pointer.
Oh hey welcome back Lonzo 👋 pic.twitter.com/uD3AfR312C- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) November 22, 2019
Returning from an adductor strain, he finished the game with eight points and five assists.
Story of shorthanded teams trending in opposite directions
Both teams had key players missing in this game.
For the Suns, who have now lost four of their last five, they were playing without key veteran starters in Ricky Rubio and Aron Baynes. Despite missing those key players, the hosts dished out more assists (28) than their season average (2nd in the league - 27.9) and shot better from beyond the arc (13-of-31 - 41.9%) than their season average - 37.8% - 6th.
As impressive as those numbers are, it wasn't enough against a deep Pelicans squad that rode their recent momentum to victory.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, were playing without rotation players Jahlil Okafor, Josh Hart and Derrick Favors. Not to mention, Zion Williamson, the 2019 No. 1 overall pick, who is set to make his return midway through December.
After different starts to the seasons, the Suns (8th) and Pelicans (10th) are awfully close to each other in the Western Conference standings.