NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 26 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans won for just the fourth time this season, beating the Washington Wizards 127-102 on Wednesday night.
Josh Hart highlighted his 16-point performance with a running half-court bank shot as he was fouled in the final second of the third quarter.
That shot gave New Orleans a 95-73 lead, and the Pelicans all but put it away when Nickeil Alexander-Walker and center Willy Hernangomez hit back-to-back 3s to make it 103-75 with 8:59 left. The lead grew as large as 31.
Bradley Beal scored 23 points but got little help from the rest of the Wizards, who lost for the fourth time in five games. Spencer Dinwiddie added 11 points and Montrezl Harrell had 10 points and nine rebounds.
New Orleans had its first double-digit lead less than four minutes into the game and the Pelicans did not let up in the first half.
Ingram, who was coming off a 2-of-13 shooting night in a lopsided loss to Minnesota on Monday night, made five of his first seven shots. His 17-foot turnaround made it 25-9. He added two more jumpers and a layup in the first six minutes of the second quarter, helping New Orleans take a 51-35 lead.
Consecutive 3s by Devonte’ Graham gave New Orleans its first lead of more than 20 at 62-38. And Valanciunas, who scored 17 points in the first half, added a dunk, a tip-in and a pair of free throws to help the Pelicans take a 72-50 lead into halftime.
The Wizards hurt their own cause in the opening half with 13 turnovers, which led to 17 Pelicans points.
The hole could have been in a deeper hole if not for Beal, who made nine of his first 13 shots for 19 points, including a long, bail-out jumper off an inbound pass from the corner as the shot clock wound down.
Wizards: Davis Bertans returned from a 10-game absence caused by a left ankle sprain. He played 19 minutes in a reserve role and scored just three points on 1-of-10 shooting. … The Wizards committed 19 turnovers, which led to 24 Pelicans points. … The Wizards missed 13 of 36 free throws. … Washington dropped to 4-5 on the road.
Pelicans: Graham finished with 12 points in his first action since missing three games with left foot soreness. … Hernangomez had 13 points and Alexander-Walker scored 12. … The first half marked the first time this season New Orleans had scored as many as 70 points in a half and New Orleans finished with a season high for points and a season-high 33 assists. … New Orleans shot 46.3% from the field (44 of 95), went 12 of 29 from 3-point range, made 27 of 32 free throws and committed 11 turnovers.
Wizards: Visit Oklahoma City on Friday night for the second stop on a four-game road trip.
Pelicans: Visit Utah Friday night for the first of three road games in four nights.
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