Ingram scores season-high 40 points as Pelicans beat Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 40 points, Trey Murphy III added six 3-pointers and 27 points and the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans had their best offensive showing of the season in a 144-122 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points and 18 rebounds, and CJ McCollum had 22 points as the Pelicans opened a three-game road trip without two-time All-Star Zion Williamson, who sat out with a sprained ankle.
“We've got a lot of guys on the team who can put the ball in the basket and contribute to winning basketball," Murphy said.
Ingram, Murphy, Valanciunas and McCollum combined to shoot 35 of 56 (62.5%) from the floor as New Orleans eclipsed its previous season high point total of 131.
"For us, it’s really about, no matter who we play, having an understanding that it’s tough to win basketball games in the NBA," Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “We wanted to start the game right. We didn’t, but we got it going and then it’s about finishing play after play.”
Williamson is day to day, according to Green, after he suffered the injury late in Monday’s win against Minnesota.
Kyle Kuzma scored 27 points to lead Washington, which led by 15 points early but trailed from the middle of the second quarter.
Bilal Coulibaly, the seventh pick in the draft, added 16 points while hitting four 3-pointers for just the second time in his young career.
“I think it’s something that he has worked on quite a bit,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said of Coulibaly's long-range shooting. “To see him just let it fly, find a rhythm, I think that’s positive.”
The Wizards allowed more than 140 points for the second time this week, losing 146-101 to Philadelphia on Monday. Washington lost for the 20th time in 23 games, the fastest the team has reached that loss total since the 2012-13 season.
The Pelicans erased most of their early deficit by the end of the first quarter and took their first lead when Murphy hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to make it 42-40.
McCollum followed with a 3, and Murphy hit a 31-footer as the Pelicans continued a 22-4 run that was part of a 47-point second quarter and 75-point first half. Both marks were season-bests for New Orleans.
“Once he sees one goes in, his range is unlimited,” Green said of Murphy. “And it was on full display tonight.”
Pelicans: Visit Charlotte on Friday.
Wizards: Host Indiana on Friday.
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