Eariler this week, Brandon Ingram received an all-star endorsement from Kevin Durant, as a result of his breakout year in his first season in New Orleans.
If anyone questioned Durant’s decision to endorse a player on a sub .500 team (14-25), Ingram put all doubts to rest inside Madison Square Garden Friday night, as he led the New Orleans Pelicans to a 123-111 victory over the New York Knicks.
The Pelicans’ leading scorer (25.3 ppg) registered a game-high 28 points shooting an efficient 11-for-18 (61.0%) from the field, to go along with nine assists and six rebounds — as New Orleans recorded their seventh victory in their last nine games.
🚨 AT THE BUZZER 🚨
BI leads all scorers with 17 points at the half! pic.twitter.com/hb02WV9ber
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) January 11, 2020
The highlight of the night came late in the first half when Ingram scored a one-hand driving dunk, to put New Orleans up 67-61 heading into the half.
In addition to Ingram’s night in the Big Apple, five players scored in double-figures as the Pelicans shot 55.8% from the floor, 47.4% from 3-point range as a team. Lonzo Ball continued his impressing stretch of games as of late with 15 points (6-14 FG, 3-7 3PT), 11 assists and six rebounds in the win.
Starting in place of the injured Jrue Holiday, Josh Hart recorded 13 points on the night, but his most influential contribution came on the glass with 10 rebounds for the 6’5 guard from Villanova. Rookie center, Jaxson Hayes, also recorded 10 boards for the Pelicans, but added 18 points off the bench.
With six players scoring in double, the Knicks (10-26) kept the game competitive up until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Taj Gibson had a perfect night from the field scoring 18 points (8-8 FG) to go along with eight rebounds.
With his former college teammate, Zion Williamson, watching from afar, R.J. finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, while the Knicks lost their fifth straight following a season-best three-game winning streak.
After the win, the Pelicans will continue their east-coast trip on Saturday in a battle against the Boston Celtics inside the TD Garden in Boston. Tip-off is slated for 6 P.M. CT.
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