Brandon Ingram Led The Pelicans To A Game 2 Upset Of The Suns

The 1-8 series in the Western Conference is headed to New Orleans with the series tied at one game a piece. After a Chris Paul fourth quarter masterclass in Game 1 helped steer the Phoenix Suns to a victory, Brandon Ingram nearly had a triple-double and CJ McCollum could not miss down the stretch to help the Pelicans pick up a 125-114 win.

The story of the first half was the torrid play of Devin Booker. The Suns took a narrow 61-56 lead into the locker room at halftime, with Booker outscoring the rest of his team — the All-Star guard scored 31 points in the first half on 12-for-18 shooting with a 7-for-10 clip from three. He ended the half with a bang, knocking down a triple from the midcourt logo.

Still, despite the huge half from Booker, Mikal Bridges (10 points) was the only other player to score in double-digits, while McCollum and Ingram combined for 26 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists to keep New Orleans afloat. They continued to hang around early in the second half, and several minutes into the third quarter, the Pelicans were able to take the lead off of a triple by Ingram.

Back and forth the two teams went to start the third, sometimes literally. One sequence saw Jaxson Hayes get rejected by Bridges on one end, only for Hayes to get him back almost immediately on the very next possession.

But after a Bridges dunk midway through the frame, everything went right for New Orleans. The Pelicans outscored the Suns from the halfway point of the quarter until its conclusion, 19-9, and outscored them by 12 over the duration of the third. Booker heading to the locker room didn’t help here, and while New Orleans wrapped the quarter up, Monty Williams gambled and opted to keep the rest of his starters on the bench.

As a result, the Pelicans held a 90-83 lead after three, with Ingram scoring 14 points in the quarter.

It did not take long for Phoenix, with Booker watching on the bench and unable to return due to hamstring tightness, to take the lead back. The team started the fourth on a 13-5 run and were able to get ahead thanks to a dunk by Cameron Johnson.

Booker on the bench presented an opportunity for the Pelicans to pounce, and they responded in a big way. Ingram and McCollum, in particular, were able to get into a groove and help them take and extend their lead.

Ultimately, Phoenix just ran out of gas, while New Orleans seemed to get better and better as the game went on. Ingram led all scorers with 37 points, and chipped in 11 rebounds and nine assists. McCollum likewise just missed a triple-double, going for 23 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. Herbert Jones pitched in 14, Jonas Valanciunas had 10 with 13 rebounds, and Larry Nance provided 13 points and six rebounds off the bench. Booker did not score in the second half, while Bridges had 19 and Paul had a double-double with 17 points and 14 assists.

Game 3 between the Suns and the Pelicans from New Orleans will tip off on Friday night at 9:30 p.m. ET.