Pelicans sweep season series vs Celtics
Zion Williamson scored 28 points and Brandon Ingram added 25 as the visiting New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Boston Celtics 115-109 on Monday night.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 17, Josh Hart had 15 points and 15 rebounds and Eric Bledsoe scored 13 as the Pelicans made 16-of-31 3-pointers and completed a sweep of the season series. New Orleans defeated Boston 120-115 in overtime Feb. 21, overcoming a 24-point deficit.
Jayson Tatum scored 34, Kemba Walker had 23, Marcus Smart added 15, Payton Pritchard 11 and Luke Kornet 10 for the Celtics, who were beginning a seven-game home-stand.
Celtics All-Star guard Jaylen Brown did not play because of a hip contusion. Evan Fournier made his Boston debut after being acquired in a trade with Orlando last Thursday and missed all 10 of his shots, including five 3-pointers in 33 minutes.
The Celtics needed just three minutes to outscore the Pelicans 15-4 at the start of the third quarter and take a 70-68 lead.
The score was tied twice before New Orleans scored eight straight points.
Williamson’s layup with 12 seconds left gave the Pelicans an 88-81 lead at the end of the third quarter.
He scored the first four points of the fourth quarter and added two free throws for a 99-84 lead.
Boston used a 13-0 run to get within 110-107, but Ingram made a jumper with 33.1 seconds left and the Pelicans added three free throws.
Williamson didn’t score during the first four minutes, then scored five straight Pelicans points.
Make that 24 STRAIGHT games of 20+ PTS on at least 50% shooting for @Zionwilliamson.. he's 1 game away from tying Shaq's shot-clock era record of 25 straight!
— NBA (@NBA) March 30, 2021
Ingram’s 3-pointer was the only basket by a Pelican other than Williamson in 5 1/2 minutes and cut Boston’s lead to 21-18.
Hart scored 10 points during the final 3:50 and New Orleans took a 32-27 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Pelicans increased the lead to nine points before the Celtics cut it to one.
New Orleans rebuilt the lead and Williamson’s putback with three seconds left gave the Pelicans a 64-55 halftime lead.