Jonas Valanciunas had 26 points and 13 rebounds and the host New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 20-point deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 94-81 on Friday night.
Josh Hart had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Brandon Ingram had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Kira Lewis Jr. scored 16 as the Pelicans won for just the third time this season. The victory was the second in four games for New Orleans.
New Orleans outscored Los Angeles 51-26 in the second half after the Clippers had scored 29 points in the first quarter and 26 in the second quarter.
Paul George scored 19 points, Nicolas Batum scored 12 and Isaiah Hartenstein and Terance Mann added 11 points each as the Clippers lost for the third time in four games after a seven-game winning streak.
Valanciunas made a dunk to a start a 10-0 Pelicans run to start the third quarter and pull them within 55-53.
George answered with two baskets, but New Orleans pulled even on a 3-pointer by Ingram and took a 63-61 lead on a Valanciunas tip-in.
Batum’s 3-pointer put L.A. back on top and the lead changed hands three more times and was tied once before Lewis’ jumper gave the Pelicans a 72-69 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Hart’s basket and Valanciunas’ free throw increased the lead to six before Eric Bledsoe made a basket and assisted on Amir’s Coffey to pull the Clippers within 75-74.
Hart answered with a layup, the Clippers got within one again and Valanciunas answered with a layup that started a 15-5 run that gave New Orleans a 92-81 lead with 2:48 left.
L.A. had runs of 11-0 and 7-0 as it took a 29-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Clippers scored the first seven points of the second quarter to take their biggest lead of the half.
Hart’s layup stopped the run and consecutive 3-pointers by Valanciunas and Lewis pulled New Orleans within 45-37.
George’s 3-pointer concluded the second-quarter scoring as the Clippers rebuilt the lead to 55-43 at halftime.
–Field Level Media