CJ McCollum scored a season-high 42 points and set a franchise record and his own career high with 11 3-pointers as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 127-116 on Friday night.
McCollum made 13 of 20 field-goal attempts, including 11-of-16 from long range, and Zion Williamson added 36 points on 13 of 19 shooting from the field and making 10 of 16 free throws.
Willy Hernangomez scored 13 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 10 as the Pelicans won their fifth straight game.
Joel Embiid scored 37 points, James Harden had 20 points and 10 assists, Tobias Harris scored 14 points and De’Anthony Melton added 11 to lead the Sixers, who will host New Orleans on Monday.
The Pelicans scored the first five points of the third quarter to extend their lead to 12 points. Embiid scored 10 points, including five straight for the Sixers at one point, to cut the deficit to six.
They got within six three more times before Williamson scored New Orleans’ final six points to produce a 99-91 lead at the end of the quarter.
Harden scored the first three points of the fourth quarter, but Williamson scored seven as the Pelicans took a 109-101 lead.
Philadelphia closed within six before McCollum’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 119-107.
P.J. Tucker answered with a 3-pointer, but McCollum’s 11th trey gave New Orleans a 124-110 lead with 2:30 left.
Embiid scored 10 of his 15 first-quarter points as the Sixers bolted to a 16-6 lead.
McCollum scored eight points and assisted on Trey Murphy III’s 3-pointer as the Pelicans got within two points.
Embiid scored the next five points before Hernangomez scored seven straight to even the score at 24.
Naji Marshall had five points as New Orleans scored the final seven to take a 31-27 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Williamson scored the Pelicans’ first eight points of the second quarter as they increased the lead to 10 points.
McCollum made four 3-pointers in a span of 98 seconds and New Orleans took its biggest lead, 63-46.
Harden, Georges Niang and Harris each made a 3-pointer as Philadelphia trimmed the lead to 67-60 at halftime.
–Field Level Media