The Pelicans validated their ticket for the play-offs this Friday by dominating the Los Angeles Clippers (105-101), in California. New Orleans deserved this opportunity to reward a group deprived all season of its young star Zion Williamson, but who knew how to remain mobilized around Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum.
In a crazy match where the Pelicans led by 16 units before the break, before suffering the lightning of the Clippers in the third quarter (38-18), to finally regain a definitive advantage in the money-time (31-17 ), this duo was decisive.
Ingram on fire
Ingram, despite the sticky Nicolas Batum (2 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals), responsible for defending him, finished with 30 points (6 assists). “I did everything necessary for us to win. I knew what was at stake, we all wanted to participate in the play-offs. I really wanted it”he reacted.
McCollum was limited to 19 points, but his baskets put his team back in place in the final minutes. On the Clippers side, the absence of Paul George, who tested positive for Covid-19 a few hours earlier, will have weighed too much, despite Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson, 27 points each.
Like Atlanta, which will challenge Miami after its play-in victory against Cleveland (107-101), they will be far from being favorites since they will face Phoenix, leader of the Western Conference. The Suns, finalists last year, flew over the regular season leaving no weak point betrayed, in the wake of Devin Booker and Chris Paul.