On Thursday, the struggling San Antonio Spurs lost 126-117 to the struggling New Orleans Pelicans. CJ McCollum scored a season-high 40 points for the Pelicans in the loss.
The Pelicans, who are third in the Western Conference, won and ended a losing streak of four games. Lithuanian centre Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and ten rebounds in the win.
The third quarter ended with the Pelicans ahead 94-75. In the fourth quarter, San Antonio scored 42 points, but McCollum’s shooting, which included making 7 of 14 three-point shots, made the difference.
Without critical players like Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans won the game and improved to 19-12.
The Recovery of Pelicans
Williamson is averaging 25.2 points this season and has been on the league’s health and safety list.
Willie Green, the head coach of the Pelicans, said, “It was great to see CJ have a night as he did. His 40 points and nine assists were impressive, and we needed that kind of production from him with so many guys out.”
Green praised McCollum’s work ethic and desire for improvement, and he said that the key now was to do this kind of work more often.
“When he is on the court and scoring like he does and getting his teammates involved, it is beautiful to watch. We need him to do that each night. And we are aware that it won’t always be 40.” he said.
Pelicans vs. Spurs
Jeremy Sochan led the Spurs in scoring with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Malik Beasley scored 25 points, and Jordan Clarkson added 23 as the Utah Jazz beat the Washington Wizards 120-112.
Eleven Wizards’ games (12-21) have ended in defeat. Last 12 games. They beat the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, their only win in that stretch.
At halftime, Washington was ahead 66–60, but they were three points behind going into the fourth quarter.
Nickeil Alexander-26-foot Walker’s three-point jumper gave Utah a 10-point lead, which they kept until the end of the game.
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