Sports

NBA: Sans Zion Williamson, Pelicans still beat Ja Morant, Grizzlies

CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans and Jose Alvarado #15 celebrate during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at the Smoothie King Center on November 04, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images/AFP

CJ McCollum scored 30 points and Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr. added 19 each as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 113-102 on Tuesday night.

Trey Murphy III scored 13 points, Jose Alvarado added 12 and Herbert Jones Jr. had 10 as the Pelicans played without leading scorer Zion Williamson, who is day to day because of a bruised foot.

New Orleans made a season-high 18 3-pointers on 38 attempts.

Ja Morant, returning from a one-game absence due to ankle soreness, scored a game-high 36, but 20 came after the first quarter for the Grizzlies. Dillon Brooks added 19, Brandon Clarke had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Jaren Jackson Jr., making his season debut after being sidelined by a foot injury, had seven points (on 3 of 14 shooting, including 0 of 7 on 3-pointers) and six rebounds in 25 minutes.

The Grizzlies scored the first six points of the third quarter to take a 66-59 lead.

McCollum’s 3-pointer provided the Pelicans’ first points of the quarter, he made another to tie the score and he made another to give New Orleans a 74-71 lead.

The score was tied at 77 and 80 points before four lead changes took place and the score was tied again. Ingram’s jumper gave the Pelicans an 89-87 lead at the end of the third quarter.

New Orleans scored the first four points of the fourth quarter before Clarke’s basket produced Memphis’ first points.

Alvarado and Jones hit 3-pointers to help the Pelicans increase the lead to 104-91 as the Grizzlies scored four points during the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.

Morant had four points during a 6-0 run that pulled Memphis within seven before McCollum answered with a 3-pointer.

Morant made a 3-pointer from just inside midcourt at the first-quarter buzzer, giving Memphis a 35-32 lead.

Nance had five straight points to give the Pelicans their biggest lead, 46-39.

Memphis finished with a 7-1 run to take a 60-59 lead at halftime.

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