In a thrilling quarterfinal matchup of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament, the New Orleans Pelicans emerged victorious, defeating the Sacramento Kings 127-117 on Monday night. The Pelicans’ triumph was largely fueled by the exceptional performance of Brandon Ingram, who delivered an impressive 30-point display.
Pelicans Advance to In-Season Tournament Semifinals Behind Brandon Ingram’s Stellar Performance against Kings
Right from the tip-off, the Kings showcased their offensive prowess, quickly amassing a commanding 32-17 lead. However, the Pelicans refused to back down, mounting an extraordinary comeback that would ultimately secure their place in the semifinals. In fact, once New Orleans gained the upper hand, they never relinquished their lead throughout the second half.
Joining Ingram in the spotlight was Herb Jones, who contributed 23 points to the Pelicans’ cause, and Jonas Valanciunas, who added 18 points of his own. This victory marked the third time in the past two weeks that New Orleans had triumphed over Sacramento, solidifying their dominance in head-to-head matchups.
The Kings, who had previously swept all four games in the tournament’s group play stage, suffered their first defeat of the competition. Despite the loss, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis delivered remarkable performances for Sacramento, with Fox scoring 30 points and Sabonis recording an impressive triple-double with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Notably, Trey Lyles of the Kings engaged in a heated exchange with Valanciunas, resulting in Lyles receiving a technical foul. After Sacramento’s early offensive onslaught, the Pelicans staged a remarkable defensive stand, holding the Kings to a mere 2-of-18 shooting during a pivotal 28-5 run that spanned the first two quarters. Riding the momentum of this defensive dominance, New Orleans built a commanding 15-point lead in the third quarter.
However, the Kings demonstrated their resilience and fought their way back into contention, narrowing the gap to six points in the fourth quarter. Just as the game seemed to hang in the balance, the Pelicans unleashed a decisive nine-point surge, effectively sealing their victory. Valanciunas showcased his offensive prowess with a hook shot, while Trey Murphy contributed a clutch 3-pointer. Additionally, Ingram and Jones calmly sank their free throws, further solidifying the Pelicans’ triumph.
With this impressive quarterfinal win, the New Orleans Pelicans have earned a spot in the tournament’s semifinals. They will now eagerly await the outcome of Tuesday night’s clash between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers, with the winner set to face the Pelicans in the semifinals on Thursday in Las Vegas.
As the In-Season Tournament continues to captivate basketball fans worldwide, it is the performances of players like Brandon Ingram and the collective efforts of teams like the New Orleans Pelicans that make the competition a spectacle to behold.