Ingram, Williamson power Pelicans past Cavaliers
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 28 points, Zion Williamson added 23 and the New Orleans Pelicans bounced back from a lopsided loss with a 116-82 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Ingram played just 25 minutes and Williamson 18 because of how lopsided the game became. Steven Adams had 10 points and 17 rebounds in his 21 minutes on the court.
The Cavs welcomed forwards Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. back to the starting lineup after extended absences, and both announced their returns with early 3s. But their roles were relatively limited and did not significantly influence the result of a match-up with a Pelicans squad that looked inspired and determined to bounce back from an embarrassing 30-point loss to Minnesota a night earlier.
Love, who had missed 33 games since injuring his right calf in late December, played 10 minutes and had four points and a rebound. He also got caught a step behind Williamson a couple times on the defensive end.
Nance, who missed 12 games after injuring his left hand, had 11 points, four rebounds and a block in 28 minutes.
Collin Sexton scored 19 points, which proved inconsequential in a game that saw New Orleans take a 100-60 lead with about seven minutes remaining.
New Orleans built a 21 point lead by halftime and built on that during a third quarter that saw Cleveland hit just two of 23 shots and score a total of nine points. The Cavs shot just 34.1 % (30 of 88) for the game and missed 25 of 32 from 3-point range.
Williamsons highlights included an alley-oop dunk over Love and a reverse layup as he was fouled by Love. Williamson later added a floater after drawing a foul from JaVale McGee with a mid-air ball fake. The first-time Pelicans All-Star also mixed in a couple of the fiesty put-backs for which he's become known since making his NBA debut in the middle of last season.
Ingram hit three 3-pointers, added some mid-range jumpers and also attacked the rim, most notably when sank a left-handed finger-roll off the glass after soaring past the front of the rim on a right-to-left drive.
Pelicans reserve center Jaxson Hayes also helped the Pelicans pull away by scoring all of his season-high 13 points in the first half, highlighted by a pair of alley-oop dunks.
Cavaliers: Newly signed guard Quinn Cook had 13 points in 16 1/2 minutes. He was 3 of 4 from 3-point range and 8 of 8 overall. ... Center Jarrett Allen blocked three shots and grabbed seven rebounds. ... Cleveland had just 33 rebounds and 13 assists. ... Cedi Ausman missed eight of nine shots, including all six 3s he took.
Pelicans: Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 15 points and eight rebounds. ... With his 10th point of the night, Ingram, who is now in his fifth season, reached 5,000 career points in his 290th game. ... New Orleans shot 6 of 24 from 3-point range, one night after going 6 of 32. ... Outscored Cleveland 66-40 in the paint. ... Outrebounded the Cavs 70-33.
Cavaliers: Visit Atlanta on Sunday in the second stop of a three-game road swing.
Pelicans: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night in the last of three homes games in four nights before embarking on a three-game trip.
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