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Pelicans Claim Final Playoff Spot: Beat Clippers 105-101 in Play-In Game – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Pelicans Brandon Ingram (14) had 30 points, six rebounds and six assists in a 105-101 win over the LA Clippers on Friday, April 15, 2022 (Photo courtesy)

The New Orleans Pelicans returned from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the exhausted Los Angeles Clippers 105-101 in a game Friday night at Crypto.com Arena and won No. 8 in the Western Conference for the NBA Playoffs.

With the victory, New Orleans will face the No. 1 Phoenix Suns on Sunday in the first round of the playoffs.

Brandon Ingram led by 30 points, six assists and six rebounds to lead the Pelicans, while CJ McCollum scored 19 points and three assists to help New Orleans reach the playoffs for the first time in 2017-18. Zion Williamson remained out, as he was all season, due to a leg injury.

“Willie Green is a great coach,” said Larry Nance Jr., who finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds for a New Orleans team that started the season 1-12.

Green, Pelicans’ first-year coach, preached “You Have to Fight!”

“It was an emotional game, a lot of ups and downs,” Green said. “But for us, our mentality is that we will continue to fight. We will not fade. “

The Clippers were left without star Paul George due to health and safety protocols, as they received the brutal news on Friday morning that they will be absent from their biggest match of the year. Los Angeles was already without star Cowie Leonard throughout the season as he recovered from an ACL injury as the Clippers missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

It’s a disappointed locker room, but these guys have nothing to tilt their heads for … I know we didn’t make it to the playoffs, but given everything that has happened this year, I’m very proud of our boys. “Clippers coach Tai Lu said.

Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson had 27 points each for the Clippers. Norman Powell scored 17 points from the bench and Robert Covington added 14.

“Kovid, injuries, returns, everything. That was fun. We went through all this, “said Nicholas Batum. “Trade. Missing players. We had everything, still 8th placed in the West without our best player. Basically, without our two best players … I love this team. ”

The Pelicans jumped early and took a 16-point lead in the first half, 56-46 in favor of New Orleans at halftime.

The Clippers included a switch in the third, beating the Pelicans 38-18, clicking on all cylinders while miraculously using 20-2. Jackson and Maurice combined 16 points during the jerk, which led to Los Angeles taking a striking advantage of 13 points.

However, the Pelicans ended the game 31-17 in the quarter, forcing Los Angeles to hit hard and sending the Clippers to the charity strip, where they missed 12 free throws overnight.

“I thought our boys were a little tired,” Lou said as the Pelicans used an 11-0 and 10-0 series in the fourth to catch a 101-94 lead after a 3:10 sign by Trey Murphy III with 2:10 left. “We did not continue to attack.”

Los Angeles reached two in the final 1:17, but missed 2 of 4 major free throws, which led to the victory of New Orleans with 105-101, while ending the season of the Clippers.

“I had the most fun all season. I came back to this joy just to have fun. The team did it that way. The boys did it that way, “Covington said.

The Clippers will be looking forward to the off-season, which focuses on getting their two cornerstones back on the floor, as Los Angeles was right in the Western Conference finals last year.

“It’s disgusting that the season ended the way it did, but I can’t help but smile when I think about next year,” Jackson said of Leonard and George’s return next season.

“When you bring back Kawhi, a player in the top 5. When you get PG back, a perennial star. The team is changing tremendously … We can be very different with these two guys back and healthy … We can be special, “Lou said.

Pelicans Claim Final Playoff Spot: Beat Clippers 105-101 in Play-In Game – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Pelicans Claim Final Playoff Spot: Beat Clippers 105-101 in Play-In Game – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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