Pelicans outlast Pistons with big fourth quarter
Zion Williamson scored 32 points and the host New Orleans Pelicans rode a fourth-quarter surge to a 128-118 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
Williamson, named to his first All-Star Game a night earlier, made 13 of 18 field goals, Brandon Ingram added 27 points and the Pelicans outscored Pistons 32-22 in the fourth quarter.
Steven Adams, returning from a two-game absence due to an ankle injury, had 14 points and 15 rebounds, Lonzo Ball scored 12 and Josh Hart and Eric Bledsoe had 11 each.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 25, 2021
The Pistons were completing a back-to-back after winning at Orlando on Tuesday, played without two starters and had seven double-figure scorers.
Jerami Grant, the Pistons’ leading scorer with an average of 23.3 points, missed his first game of the season to rest and Delon Wright was sidelined by a groin injury.
Josh Jackson scored 25, Mason Plumlee had 21, Saddiq Bey and Saben Lee scored 13 each, Svi Mykhailiuk had 12, Isaiah Stewart had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Dennis Smith Jr. scored 11.
Plumlee scored the Pistons’ first six points of the third quarter, producing a 75-66 lead.
New Orleans scored the next eight points, pulling within one on Ball’s 3-pointer.
Detroit rebuilt the lead to six points twice before the Pelicans pulled even at 84 on Bledsoe’s layup and the third quarter ended in a tie at 96.
JJ Redick made two 3-pointers to help the Pelicans take a 104-100 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Williamson’s layup gave New Orleans its biggest lead to that point at 108-102.
Back-to-back layups by Hart and Ingram helped push the lead to 117-106 midway through the period.
The Pistons got within seven but didn’t get any closer.
Bey scored 10 points and the Pistons made 7 of 13 3-pointers as they took a 39-33 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Detroit took a 10-point lead early in the second quarter and took a 69-63 halftime lead after its highest-scoring half of the season.