NBA: Pelicans get road win over Hornets for 2-0 start | Inquirer Sports
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NBA: Pelicans get road win over Hornets for 2-0 start

/ 11:30 AM October 22, 2022

Jonas Valanciunas Pelicans NBA

Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the New Orleans Pelicans is being guarded by Mason Plumlee #24 of the Charlotte Hornets in the third quarter during their game at Spectrum Center on October 21, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images/AFP

Jonas Valanciunas had a strong start and clutch finishing stretch on his way to 30 points as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the host Charlotte Hornets 124-112 on Friday night.

Brandon Ingram tallied 28 points in a return to his home state and CJ McCollum added 21 points for the Pelicans, who led throughout the game and fended off Charlotte’s fourth-quarter comeback. Zion Williamson chipped in with 16.

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Valanciunas, who also pulled in 17 rebounds, made 8 of 11 shots from the field and went 13-for-14 on free throws. New Orleans outscored the Hornets 32-11 on free throws.

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Williamson, who’s from South Carolina, played for the first time in the arena since helping lift Duke to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship as a freshman in his only college season. He shot 7-for-19 from the field.

The Pelicans, who didn’t win their second game last season until their 14th game, are off a 2-0 start. They won while shooting only 8-for-22 on 3-point attempts, but a 53-37 rebounding edge helped offset that.

Gordon Hayward posted 26 points and Terry Rozier (7-for-24 shooting) poured in 23 points to boost Charlotte’s offense. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 15 points and reserve Jalen McDaniels had 14 points.

P.J. Washington and Dennis Smith Jr. each contributed 10 points.

Charlotte, playing in its home opener, showed spurts of energy by cutting what had been a 16-point hole to six during the third quarter. The Hornets closed within two points a couple of times in the fourth quarter before an 8-0 burst by the Pelicans — highlighted by three-point plays by Herbert Jones and Valanciunas — pushed the gap to 107-97.

New Orleans held a 61-51 halftime lead despite shooting 5-for-15 on 3-pointers.

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The Hornets were hurt in the first half by nine turnovers and only getting to the free-throw line for three attempts.

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The Pelicans led 35-24 after the first quarter, boosted by Valanciunas’ 12 points as part of an early 19-7 edge.

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TAGS: Jonas Valanciunas, NBA, New Orleans Pelicans

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