The New Orleans Pelicans have struggled to find consistency this season.
But they have won four of their last six games after holding on for a 114-113 win at Indiana on Friday.
They hope to continue the momentum when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.
Brandon Ingram scored 30 points and Lonzo Ball added 20 to lead six Pelicans in double figures against Indiana.
Zion Williamson scored 18, Steven Adams had 12 points and 12 rebounds, JJ Redick scored 12 and Josh Hart scored 11 for the Pelicans.
The score was tied at 105, 107 and 110 before Adams made a tip-in and Ingram hit a jumper for a four-point Pelicans lead with 42 seconds left.
Myles Turner answered with a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left, but that ended the scoring. After an Ingram miss, Turner drove the lane and Ball contested his 5-foot shot, which bounced off the side of the rim.
“I just did the best I could,” Ball said. “I wish the game never got to that point.”
The Pelicans led for most of the game, but the Pacers made 20 of 42 3-pointers to be in position to win at the end.
“Lonzo was right there,” New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Great defensive stop.”
Van Gundy was less happy with his team’s offense, which didn’t feature as much ball movement as he would like.
“We just turn into isolation basketball,” he said. “That’s not how we got to where we were. We want to walk it up and isolate the ball. That’s just not going to be good enough for us.”
The Grizzlies allowed just 104.3 points per game during a recent seven-game winning streak.
But the streak ended in a 134-116 loss at Indiana on Tuesday before a 115-103 home loss to Houston on Thursday.
“I’m not sure what it was the last couple of games,” guard Tyus Jones said. “Offensively, we know we can score points. We can put the ball in the basket. Winning comes on the defensive end for us, and we see what happens when we’re not locked in on that side of the ball.”
The Grizzlies allowed 33 second-quarter points to the Rockets, who finished the game having made 19 of 45 3-pointers.
The Memphis offense also struggled against Houston as the Grizzlies shot 42.5 percent from the floor. The starters shot 36.4 percent from the field.
“Regardless of how we shoot the ball, we’ve got to be able to defend,” said rookie Desmond Bane, who led Memphis with 16 points off the bench. “That’s got to be our constant and our consistent thing that we can hang our hat on.”
Coach Taylor Jenkins said, “Nothing demands major adjustments.”
“I thought they did a good job defensively,” he said of the Rockets. “We still racked up 28 assists. I thought we missed a lot of great looks. They kind of put us in some tough spots at some times.”
This will be the first meeting this season between these teams, and New Orleans won all three meetings last season.
–Field Level Media