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#BrandonIngram Has #40 #Points and the #Pelicans Beat the #TrailBlazers 121-110

#BrandonIngram Has #40 #Points and the #Pelicans Beat the #TrailBlazers 121-110

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Ingram has 40 points  Pelicans beat Trail Blazers 121110

On Wednesday night, Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 40 points as the New Orleans Pelicans cruised past Portland 121-110. CJ McCollum added 24 points in helping New Orleans snap its four-game losing streak.

Damian Lillard scored a career-high 60 points to surpass Wilt Chamberlain for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list and help propel his Portland Trail Blazers team into a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with their win.

Damian Lillard had 41 points

On Wednesday afternoon, the Trail Blazers (29-33) entered their game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Moda Center less than 24 hours after suffering a devastating second-half collapse in a 126-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Facing another team in playoff contention and hoping to snap their four-game losing streak, the Blazers fell 121-110 against Pelicans who are now tied for fourth place in Western Conference with 29-31 record.

Damian Lillard scored 41 points and hit 13 3-pointers to move into sixth on the league's all-time list of 3-pointers made. As part of the team that swept the Pelicans in the first round of playoffs last season, Lillard has been a major reason why Portland remains in contention for a playoff spot this year.

After missing his initial three-point attempt in the first half, Lillard connected on three of his next four attempts from long distance in the second quarter and had 18 points at halftime to help the Blazers take a 56-53 advantage into the locker room.

Lillard scored 40 or more points for the tenth time since January 1st, marking his highest total ever in five games. Jerami Grant added 28 points to help propel Portland to fourth in the Western Conference, four games behind Phoenix Suns.

Meanwhile, the Pelicans (33-32) prevailed for the 26th straight game despite missing Zion Williamson due to a hamstring injury. CJ McCollum scored 24 points while Naji Marshall added 11 as they snapped their four-game losing streak.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum had never faced off before being traded to the Pelicans in December 2018, making this their first meeting after six and half seasons together on the Trail Blazers. It also marked their first game against one another since their teams' tenure together as teammates was completed.

The Pelicans took control of the game with a 16-4 run in the third quarter that turned an 85-80 deficit into a 109-99 lead and Naji Marshall's fast break layup with 5:13 left to secure their victory. Brandon Ingram scored 40 points for New Orleans, ending their seven-game winning streak against the Blazers.

CJ McCollum had 24 points

Wednesday night, the New Orleans Pelicans won their fourth game in a row as CJ McCollum scored 24 points to help them defeat the Trail Blazers 121-110. With this victory, they moved into a tie for ninth place with Utah Jazz in the Western Conference standings.

It has been a challenging season for the Portland Trail Blazers as they've struggled to find their rhythm and have been sidelined with injuries. But Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have proven they can lead their team and are integral components of why they are on track for an intense playoff run.

With time, Lillard and McCollum evolved into a formidable backcourt duo that opponents feared and admirers adored. They became the first teammates to score 34-plus points in a playoff game since Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter did so against Utah Jazz on May 19, 1992.

With a newly retooled Pelicans team featuring Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the duo has the potential to be an elite backcourt in the NBA. Their confidence, attitude, and trash-talking style proved effective against Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in Game 1 against the Warriors to secure their West playoff berth.

McCollum was expected to take a backseat to Lillard when he joined the Pelicans in 2022, but has instead excelled and become one of the league's premier shooting guards. Averaging 24.3 points per game this year, McCollum appears set for an extended career with New Orleans.

McCollum not only scores points per game, but he also averages 7.4 assists per game and has been an important component on defense as well. He's recording 3.2 steals per game this season and his leadership on the court has been invaluable to the Pelicans this season.

McCollum, 31, signed a two-year extension with the Pelicans during the offseason that will keep him in New Orleans until 2025-26. This season he already helped propel them into playoff contention and hopes to make even greater contributions as his game develops further.

Jaxson Hayes had 15 points

Jaxson Hayes has been on fire recently, scoring at least 13 points in four consecutive games. Over that span of 24 minutes, he's averaged 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

On Wednesday night against the Mavericks, Hayes scored 15 points (4-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 7-8 FT) while adding six rebounds, a steal and a block in 22 minutes off the bench. With Larry Nance (ankle) out with an injury, Willie Green decided to use Hayes as his backup center instead of Willy Hernangomez who has been getting significant minutes in Nance's absence.

The Pelicans' starters were more effective in this game than they were against the Knicks on Saturday, though Jonas Valanciunas was sidelined with a left calf contusion. It appears that he will be ready to return against Golden State on Friday night.

The Blazers had taken an eight-point lead into halftime, but the Pelicans rallied to tie the game and eventually win it 121-110. Lacking offensive momentum, the Blazers couldn't find their groove offensively, leaving them vulnerable against Pelican defense strategies such as box-and-ones and faceguarding Lillard on his cuts.

That strategy proved successful for a time, as Portland built an eight-point lead on hustle plays from their frontcourt players. Unfortunately, things took an unexpected turn after that.

After a Pelicans timeout, the Blazers found some momentum in the game again. Portland went on an early 5-0 run to take an early six-point lead but then the Pelicans would respond with an 8-0 run to take control once more.

This would remain a challenge for the Blazers until their defense found its footing, allowing the Pelicans to get away with more small-ball play and run an offense that wasn't as daunting. Despite that, the Blazers managed to close within one point of the Pelicans with 10.9 seconds remaining in the game.

The Blazers' final two possessions resulted in turnovers, giving the Pelicans control of the game. CJ McCollum finished with 20 points while Damian Lillard added 14 and Jaxson Hayes added 15 as they secured a playoff spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament.

Naji Marshall had 11 points

On Wednesday night, New Orleans defeated Portland 121-110 to snap their four-game losing streak. The Pelicans prevailed even without CJ McCollum (knee), Brandon Ingram (concussion) and Zion Williamson (hamstring).

Naji Marshall scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 1-of-3 from 3-point range, in 28 minutes. Additionally, he pulled down five rebounds and had one block.

The Pelicans' victory thrust them into a tie for ninth place with the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference standings. They still have two more games against teams above them: one against Los Angeles Lakers and another against Golden State Warriors.

Due to Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram being sidelined, Naji Marshall has been a key element in the Pelicans' offense this month. His averages of 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 30.6 minutes per game this month make him an effective streamer as well as a viable desperation option in deeper leagues.

He's shooting at a career high efficiency this season, shooting 69% from the field and 81% from beyond the arc. In his last four games, he's made 8-of-12 from three and 7-of-10 in his last six.

After a dismal first half, the Pelicans were able to rally in the second quarter and take control of the game. Marshall spearheaded an 11-0 run that put them ahead by 10 points; he hit one driving layup and made one of his two 3-pointers during that stretch.

His teammates did an outstanding job on defense, holding Portland to just 19 points in the second half, including eight in the fourth. Additionally, he had two blocks during this period as well.

Marshall remains a questionable starter this week with Brandon Ingram (toe) and Zion Williamson (hamstring) on the injury report. However, he did participate in half of Monday's practice and could make another game-time call if healthy again Sunday against Miami. If Marshall cannot go, Larry Nance may see an expanded role.

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