CJ McCollum scored 22 points and Zion Williamson added 21 points and 12 rebounds as the visiting New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 112-91 on Sunday afternoon.
Williamson, returning from a two-game absence due to a hip contusion, fell three assists short of his first career triple-double.
Naji Marshall scored 17 points, Trey Murphy III and Larry Nance Jr. had 15 apiece and Jonas Valanciunas added 11 as the Pelicans won despite the absence of two starters — Brandon Ingram (concussion) and Herbert Jones (knee), who both missed their third consecutive game.
Norman Powell scored 18, Paul George added 14 and Marcus Morris returned from a two-game absence due to personal reasons to score 12. Kawhi Leonard missed his third consecutive game for maintenance on a previous knee injury.
The Pelicans trailed by seven after scoring just 18 points in the first quarter, but they pulled even at halftime and held the Clippers, who lost their fourth straight, to 15 points in the third quarter and 24 points in the fourth.
Williamson had two baskets and McCollum made two 3-pointers as the Pelicans started the third quarter with a 10-2 run and took a 62-54 lead.
Reggie Jackson scored the next seven points and Los Angeles twice got within one point.
Williamson scored New Orleans’ last five points as it extended its lead to 78-67 at the end of the third quarter.
Devonte’ Graham started the fourth-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer off a Williamson assist. Williamson added a basket and Marshall made a 3-pointer to give the Pelicans an 86-67 lead. New Orleans went on to lead by as many as 24.
The Clippers took a 10-9 lead and the Pelicans went nearly four minutes without making a field goal.
Los Angeles opened an eight-point lead three times and held a 25-18 edge at the end of the first quarter.
The Clippers extended the lead to 36-25 on a Powell jumper before the New Orleans offense picked up.
Murphy, Marshall and McCollum each made a 3-pointer as the Pelicans edged in front briefly before the half ended tied at 52.
–Field Level Media