01/28 00:10 CST Ingram, Williamson each score 32, Pelicans top Beal, Wizards
Ingram, Williamson each score 32, Pelicans top Beal, Wizards
By BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) --- With Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram each having their
highest-scoring games of the season, there was only so much Washington's
Bradley Beal could do in response.
Ingram and Williamson each scored 32 points and New Orleans beat the depleted
Wizards 124-106 on Wednesday night.
"Brandon and Zion were both very unselfish," Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said
with a nod to Ingram's eight assists and Williamson's willingness to pass
instead of forcing shots when the defense collapsed on him.
"That's something that those guys want to do," Van Gundy said. "They helped
their teammates win and they still put up big numbers."
Beal, the NBA's leading scorer, almost single-handedly kept the reeling Wizards
in striking distance with 47 points.
"I try to come out and play with energy every night. Whatever it looks like at
the end, it looks like," Beal said. "I don't come out and say I want to score
50 tonight. ... That doesn't happen. A lot of the (stuff) I'm doing, I'm in awe
of it half the time, too."
Washington got as close as eight points in the middle of the fourth quarter
before the Pelicans pulled away in the final five minutes, highlighted by
Williamson's soaring dunk of Ingram's lob from behind the 3-point line.
Ingram finished with a season-high seven 3-pointers on 12 attempts, making all
five he attempted in the second half.
"I got a little rhythm and I just took the shots they gave me," Ingram said.
Williamson did most of his scoring in the paint and added eight free throws to
help New Orleans win for just the second time in 10 games.
"We both know we're great players," Williamson said of himself and Ingram. "But
if we're going to take it to that next level, we've got to start running off
Eric Bledsoe scored 18 points and Steven Adams grabbed a season-high 18
rebounds for New Orleans, which never trailed and made 17 3-pointers.
"My teammates taking all those 3s really opened up the game for me and it just
really worked out," Williamson said.
Garrison Mathews scored 15 points and Robin Lopez had 14 for Washington, which
played without guard Russell Westbrook and lost for the sixth time in seven
New Orleans led by as many as 26 when Ingram's 15-foot pull-up made it 74-48.
But Beal willed Washington back into the game.
Beal's 24 points in the third quarter --- during which he made four of five
3-point shots --- helped the Wizards cut it to 94-80 by the end of the period.
"The winning spirit that he has is critical to our future success," Wizards
coach Scott Brooks said. "To go through it now and still not give in is huge.
It's huge for me. It's huge for our staff and it's huge for our team going
forward. We know that we're going to be healthy and everything's going to be
much better when we have our entire group."
Wizards: Westbrook, the Wizards' second-leading scorer, was scratched for rest
after playing a night earlier in Houston. However, Brooks did not rule out
playing Westbrook on back-to-back nights later this season. ... Washington also
was missing six players because of health and safety protocols. ... Brooks
elected to give 6-foot-8, 216-pound Jordan Bell his first start of the season
in an effort to match up better with the size of New Orleans' frontcourt. Bell
had 11 rebounds and four points.
Pelicans: Adams has now had at least 16 rebounds in a game twice this season.
... Guard Lonzo Ball did not return to the game after checking out late in the
second quarter. The club said he had a sprained ankle. ... Reserve guard Josh
Hart had eight rebounds, his ninth time this season with at least that many.
The Wizards' Alex Len was called for a flagrant foul early in the fourth
quarter when he grabbed Williamson by the shoulder with his left hand and right
bicep with his right hand and pulled the Pelicans star to the floor as he tried
to drive toward the hoop. Williamson was briefly in a prone position before
getting up with a smile.
Len wound up fouling out with 5:38 left.
Wizards: Host Atlanta on Friday to open a two-game homestand.
Pelicans: Host Milwaukee on Friday in the second of five straight home games.
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