[via NBA]

Pelicans Beat Out 2nd Seed in the East Milwaukee Bucks

09:00 March 29, 2024
By: Kaitlin Lowe

Pels Defeat the Bucks

As the regular season draws to a close, maintaining a playoff push becomes ever more crucial, especially with key player Brandon Ingram sidelined with an injury. Ingram will be reevaluated in a week.

In a matchup brimming with playoff implications for the Pels, the New Orleans Pelicans sought redemption against the Milwaukee Bucks, the second-seeded team in the East, following a brutal 117-141 loss on the road this past January.

In a game marked by intense momentum swings, the New Orleans Pelicans emerged victorious against the Milwaukee Bucks, leveraging key statistical advantages and decisive runs to secure the win.This game also had increased importance after a brutal loss to the Thunder this past Tuesday, as well as difficult games ahead on the Pelicans' home tour.

[via NBA]

The Pelicans grabbed an early lead in the first quarter with an 11-3 run, setting the tone for the game. In the second quarter, consecutive runs extended their lead and forced the Bucks to call timeouts, further solidifying New Orleans' advantage. The score was 45-61 by the half, with the Pels scoring big with 35 points in the second quarter.

Despite a strong first-half showing from Milwaukee behind the arc, shooting 38.1% compared to New Orleans' 23.5%, the Pelicans capitalized on opportunities at the free-throw line, converting an impressive 79.4%. Additionally, their dominance in the paint, outscoring the Bucks 52-44, led to a significant advantage in second-chance points.

During the third quarter, Milwaukee mounted an impressive 11-2 run, narrowing the deficit to just five points (68-74) and prompting New Orleans to call a timeout with 4:09 remaining in the period. However, the Pelicans swiftly responded with an 11-2 run of their own, expanding their lead to 85-73 as the third quarter came to a close.

Despite a moderate lead, a close fourth quarter is every Pelicans' fans worst nightmare, as the team has not won a game trailing in points headed into the fourth this season. While the Bucks made the game dangerously close, the Pels were able to close this game out strong, ending with a score of 107-100.

[via the NBA]

When asked about the team's performance closing out the game, Coach Green said, "It was better tonight than it was against OKC. And that's the goal for us, to continue to recognize that this is an area of improvement."

The New Orleans Pelicans saw remarkable performances from Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy III, and Herb Jones in their victory. Williamson led the scoring charge with 28 points, demonstrating efficiency from the field and the free-throw line, while also contributing defensively with rebounds, assists, and a block. McCollum grabbed 25 points, along with seven rebounds, seven assists, and a steal. Murphy recorded his second career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, Jones made a significant impact on the defensive end with four steals and three blocks. These stellar performances underscored the Pelicans' depth and resilience, propelling them to well earned victory.

On the team's overall performance grabbing this win, McCollum says the guys were "aggressive from the start. Defensively, we were aggressive. We rebounded the ball. We ran, we pushed tempo, we shared the ball. Down the stretch, we got enough stops and defensive rebounds to secure the win."

Notably, the Pelicans brought in this win despite only scoring eight three-point shots. Further, they now hold a 32-5 record when holding opponents under 110 points this season. Additionally, the Pelicans tied their season-low with just seven turnovers, while capitalizing on the Bucks' 14 miscues, resulting in 17 points.

With the win, the New Orleans Pelicans improve to 45-28 overall, 21-14 at home, and 19-9 in the Eastern Conference.

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