WASHINGTON (AP) – CJ McCollum scored 34 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 27 points and 12 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Washington Wizards 132-112 yesterday.
New Orleans (25-16), which had lost four of five, took the lead early in the second quarter and put the game away when it scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter to take a 115-88 lead with 8:44 to play.
Washington (17-24) has lost three straight and was missing leading scorer Bradley Beal, who didn’t play for the fifth time in six games with a strained left hamstring. Kristaps Porzingis led the Wizards with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Kyle Kuzma scored 19 points before fouling out with 9:03 to play. In the second quarter, he was assessed a technical foul, and when Kuzma was called for his sixth foul, he marched off the court and walked into Washington’s locker room.
The Wizards committed 20 turnovers leading to 39 points.
New Orleans was without its leading scorer, Zion Williamson, who missed his fourth straight game with a strained right hamstring. The Pelicans, who fell behind 10-0 in the first two minutes, took a timeout just 1:44 into the game, and quickly caught up thanks to McCollum, who scored 12 straight points in a 2:36 span of the first quarter.
“That was a tough moment at the start of the game,” Valanciunas said. “We knew that was not us and we had to man up and play better defence, play better offence. We changed that.”