Wed, 08 Feb 2023

Pelicans use huge first half to blow by Raptors

Field Level Media
01 Dec 2022, 13:40 GMT+10

Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas each had a double-double and the host New Orleans Pelicans routed the Toronto Raptors 126-108 on Wednesday night.

Williamson had 33 points, making 12 of 15 field-goal attempts, and 10 rebounds, and Valanciunas finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Trey Murphy III scored 26 points, rookie Dyson Daniels had 14, Herbert Jones III had 12 and Larry Nance Jr. 10.

Despite playing without two starters -- Brandon Ingram (toe) and CJ McCollum (health and safety protocols) -- New Orleans raced to an 11-point lead after one-quarter and led by 27 at halftime after its highest-scoring half of the season.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 35 points, Pascal Siakam had 23 and O.G. Anunoby 12 to lead the Raptors. Fred VanVleet, who entered Wednesday averaging nearly 19 points per game, scored just two points before being ejected after being called for his second technical foul less than a minute into the third quarter. He shot 1-for-8 from the floor and missed all seven of his 3-point attempts.

The Pelicans led by as many as 31 points in the second half before Toronto got within 11 with 5:28 left. But Williamson scored on a dunk and made a steal and another dunk to start an 8-0 run by New Orleans.

Siakam scored the Raptors' first nine points as they grabbed a quick six-point lead.

Williamson pulled the Pelicans even for the first time with a dunk, and the score was tied again at 16 before they went on a run.

Murphy and Daniels each made a 3-pointer as New Orleans took its biggest lead at 34-23.

Trent hit a 3-pointer for Toronto, but Nance's steal and dunk gave the Pelicans a 40-29 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Raptors closed within nine before consecutive 3-pointers by Murphy and Jones helped New Orleans take a 53-37 lead.

Toronto trimmed the lead to 11 midway through the quarter, but Murphy made two 3-pointers and Valanciunas made one as the Pelicans took a 74-47 halftime lead.

--Field Level Media

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