Pelicans vs. Suns rating, takeaways: New Orleans makes use of large second half to sink Phoenix in Sport 4, even up collection

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The New Orleans Pelicans defended dwelling court docket on Sunday night time, pulling away from the Phoenix Suns for a 118-103 victory in Sport 4 of their first-round collection. Now all tied at 2-2, the collection will shift again to Phoenix for a pivotal Sport 5 on Tuesday night time.

Simply as he has all collection, Brandon Ingram led the way in which for the Pelicans, ending with 30 factors, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. He was significantly influential within the game-changing third quarter, scoring 18 factors because the Pelicans turned a halftime deficit right into a double-digit lead. The Pels by no means trailed once more, and pulled away in the midst of the fourth quarter with an brisk run led by the protection of rookies Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado. In addition they acquired a giant night time from Jonas Valanciunas, who went for 26 factors, 15 rebounds and 4 assists.

Deandre Ayton had 23 factors for the Suns, whereas JaVale McGee added 14 off the bench on an ideal 7-of-7 capturing efficiency. These two being the main scorers is rarely a very good signal for the Suns, although, they usually simply did not have sufficient offense on this sport with Devin Booker nonetheless sidelined with a hamstring damage.  

Listed below are some key takeaways from the sport:

Ingram leads the way in which

Brandon Ingram had by no means performed in a playoff sport previous to this season, a reality he made not of following the crew’s play-in victory over the Los Angeles Clippers to clinch the No. 8 seed. 

“Man it feels great,” Ingram mentioned on the time. “Simply to have an opportunity to be within the postseason this yr. By no means had a profitable document, by no means been within the postseason. To get an opportunity to showcase my expertise on the largest stage is gorgeous.”

He is taken that likelihood after which some. On Sunday night time he put collectively one other sturdy efficiency, ending with 30 factors, 4 rebounds and 5 assists for his third straight 30-point sport on this collection. He’s the primary participant in Pelicans franchise historical past to perform that feat. 

After the Pelicans went chilly on the finish of the primary half and gave up the lead, Ingram set the tone popping out of the break. He both scored or assisted on 5 straight baskets to begin the third quarter, placing the Pelicans again in entrance for good. In a while, he threw down an enormous driving dunk that was the spotlight of an 18-point body. 

This was a little bit of a disappointing common season for Ingram, as accidents restricted him to only 55 video games. Now that he is absolutely wholesome, he is displaying why he is a possible perennial All-Star. If he retains enjoying at this stage, the Pelicans have an actual shot to steal this collection. 

Jones and Alvarado placed on a defensive clinic

Pelicans rookies Herb Jones (second-round choose) and Jose Alvarado (undrafted) weren’t family names coming into the playoffs, however the duo has earned loads of recognition over the primary 4 video games. Sunday night time’s Sport 4 was the crowning achievement so far, as they harassed the Suns all night time lengthy and led a key cost within the fourth quarter to assist the Pels draw back. 

Within the span of some minutes, Jones blocked a 3-pointer by Mikal Bridges — an astounding show of athleticism and timing — Alvarado pressured an eight-second name on Chris Paul and Jones stole a move within the backcourt earlier than driving in for an and-one on a flagrant foul by Paul. A seven-point lead changed into a 14-point lead and that was the ball sport. 

Late within the fourth, Alvarado put a bow on issues by lastly getting one among his signature sneaky steals on Paul. The veteran notably waved Alvarado away when he tried to drag the transfer earlier within the collection, however he let his guard down late on this sport. Alvarado poked the ball away, and in becoming vogue it discovered its strategy to Jones for a layup. 

No fourth-quarter magic from Paul

Twice on this collection we have seen Chris Paul take over the sport within the fourth quarter, main the Suns to wins in Video games 1 and three with scientific execution down the stretch. His poise and shotmaking in Sport 3, particularly, was Corridor of Fame stuff, as he put in 19 factors and both scored or assisted on 9 of the Suns’ 11 baskets within the body.

There was no such magic on Sunday. In actual fact, Paul had one of many worst postseason performances of his profession, ending with simply 4 factors on 2 of 8 from the sphere and 11 assists. His 4 factors, 25 % area purpose share, zero 3-point makes and 0 free throws had been all both the worst or tied for the worst in his playoff profession. There have been additionally some uncharacteristic lapses down the stretch, as he was known as for eight seconds and acquired stripped by Alvarado on his trademark sneaky steal. 

With Devin Booker nonetheless sidelined with a hamstring damage, the Suns merely can not afford these sort of nights from Paul. He would not have to begin making an attempt to place up 25-30 per sport, however he is one of many few gamers they’ve who can persistently create his personal shot they usually do want him to choose up much more of the offensive burden in the event that they wish to beat this pesky Pelicans crew. 

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