NBA: Pelicans hand slumping Bulls another loss
CJ McCollum scored 23 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 22 to lead six New Orleans scorers in double figures as the host Pelicans routed the slumping Chicago Bulls 124-110 on Wednesday night.
Trey Murphy III had his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Brandon Ingram scored 16 points, Jose Alvarado had 13 and Hebert Jones Jr. 10, as New Orleans swept the season series after winning 115-111 in Chicago a week earlier.
Ingram had a season-high nine assists to lead the way as the Pelicans finished with 30 assists on 43 baskets.
The Pelicans played their second consecutive game without leading scorer Zion Williamson, who’s day to day because of a bruised foot, and made 17 of 33 3-pointers (led by Murphy’s 5 of 6) one night after making a season-high 18 on 38 attempts in a 113-102 victory over Memphis.
DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points, Zach LaVine added 25, Nikola Vucevic had 14 and Alex Caruso 13 to lead the Bulls, who lost for the fifth time in six games.
The Pelicans started the third-quarter scoring with consecutive 3-pointers by Ingram, McCollum and Murphy to take a 67-53 lead.
DeRozan responded with consecutive baskets, but New Orleans expanded the lead to as many as 19 points before taking a 95-78 lead into the fourth quarter.
Valanciunas scored the first four points of the fourth quarter and Alvarado and Dyson Daniels each added a basket to give the Pelicans a 103-78 lead.
The game featured eight lead changes and three ties before Larry Nance Jr.’s layup gave the Pelicans their biggest lead in the first quarter, 28-20.
They led by eight points on two other occasions before consecutive layups by Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic cut the lead to 32-28 at the end of the quarter.
Caruso scored five points as the Bulls started the second quarter with a 9-0 run to take a five-point lead.
Jones had nine points, Murphy scored eight and Alvarado seven the rest of the period as New Orleans took a 58-53 halftime lead.