The Minnesota Timberwolves entered Tuesday’s road tilt against the New Orleans Pelicans on a four-game winning streak. That impressive stretch pushed Minnesota to the .500 mark at 20-20 and, at times in New Orleans, it appeared as if the Wolves would nudge above the breakeven point in the standings. However, Brandon Ingram had other ideas, burying a game-winning three-pointer in the final second to give the Pelicans a 128-125 victory.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) January 12, 2022
Ingram finished the night with a game-high 33 points, converting six of his seven attempts from three-point range and shooting 11-for-19 from the field. The standout forward also led the Pelicans with nine assists but, in this case, Ingram was simply doing what he does best in putting the ball in the basket at an important time.
With that said, there was certainly a breakdown of some kind from the Wolves on this play, as the Pelicans inbounded the ball with only 3.6 seconds left. New Orleans deserves credit for drawing up an effective design on the final possession, but Ingram is, by far, the top option for the Pelicans, and his ability to get off what amounted to a catch-and-shoot jumper signals below-average defense from the Wolves. Admittedly, Ingram’s shot was from deep, but it was all net when it left his hand.
The win gives the Pelicans a 15-26 record on the season and, by proxy, New Orleans is on a 30-win pace this season. However, the Pelicans have been a much different team since a 3-16 start, posting a 12-10 record and playing highly competitive basketball. With the victory, New Orleans draws closer to the No. 10 spot in the West and a shot at the play-in, and the Pelicans may remember this game-winning effort if they can crack the postseason.