Ingram, Hart lead Pelicans past Magic for 4th straight win

Dec 23, 2021, 4:51 AM | Updated: 7:29 pm
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) goes up for a shot in front of Orlando Magic forwa...

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) goes up for a shot in front of Orlando Magic forward Chuma Okeke during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 31 points, Josh Hart hit two clutch 3-pointers in the second half to thwart an Orlando rally, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Magic 110-104 on Thursday night.

The Pelicans have won four straight and five of six. New Orleans started the season 1-12 but is 11-9 since.

“What it really says is how much they trust in each other and trust in the coaching staff,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “They just trust what we’re doing and we take that seriously. We come in with a consistent message — win, lose or draw — that this is how we’re going to play. The guys are buying into that.”

Hart scored 22 points and hit two straight 3s after Orlando had climbed within 93-90 with 5 minutes remaining. Devonte Graham added 20 points and five 3-pointers for the Pelicans, who improved to 6-12 on the road. Ingram hit 12 of 23 shots and topped 30 points for the fifth time this season.

“Thank God we got the lead to 20 early because they just kept chipping away and getting stops,” said Graham, whose final 3-pointer came after Orlando got within 99-97. “But (Ingram) does what (Ingram) does and Josh was making big plays and hitting shots and everybody off the bench was contributing.”

Cole Anthony returned after missing three games with a sprained ankle to score 22 points for the Magic, who also got 22 points from Gary Harris. Franz Wagner scored 20 points and Wendell Carter Jr., who had missed the previous two games with a right leg strain, had 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Orlando’s only lead of the night came at 2-0. New Orleans led by 12 at halftime, and Ingram scored the Pelicans’ first 12 points of the second half to extend the advantage to 65-45.

Later, Ingram made the Magic pay for trapping him by finding Hart and Graham for open 3s.

“They started to blitz Brandon and he did a good job of getting off the ball and making the simple play,” Green said. “Our shooters knocked down some big shots for us.”

Orlando got within 83-78 by the start of the fourth quarter thanks to a 31-14 burst.

“Ingram came out hot early and we made our adjustments to get it out of his hands, and that got us turned up a little bit,” Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said. “What we were trying to avoid (was) giving up the 3s. But that’s what happens sometimes with the traps.”


While Jalen Suggs has been out of action the past three weeks with a fractured right thumb, Wagner, the Magic’s other first-round pick, has thrived for the injury-ravaged team.

The No. 8 overall pick out of Michigan came into Thursday ranked third among NBA rookies in scoring (14.9 points per game), fourth in steals (1.1) and seventh in rebounds (4.7).

“The thing that sticks out the most, other than his IQ, is his competitive spirit,” Mosley said. “He wants to do things right at all times and he’s hard on himself. It’s his IQ and that competitive edge that he carries.”


Pelicans: Already hit hard by injuries, New Orleans took a few more hits on Thursday with starters Jonas Valanciunas (non-COVID-19 illness) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (health and safety protocols) and reserve Naji Marshall (protocols) out of action. Valanciunas came into Thursday second in the NBA in rebounds and first in second-chance points per game.

Magic: Mosley said R.J. Hampton is out of the health and safety protocols, but won’t return until he gets in time to work on his conditioning. … Actor Chase Stokes (“Outer Banks”) and former Magic point guard Carlos Arroyo sat courtside.


Pelicans: At Oklahoma City on Sunday night.

Magic: At Miami on Sunday night.


More AP NBA: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

UFC mysteriously closes show at Vegas campus to fans, media

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The UFC is holding its next fight show without fans or media members in attendance, and the mixed martial arts promotion isn’t saying why. The UFC will stage a 13-bout Fight Night card at the Apex Gym on its corporate campus in Las Vegas on Saturday night, but no fans or […]
13 hours ago
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, left, and LIV Golf managing director Majed Al Sorour cheer from the stage...
Associated Press

PGA Tour countersuit accuses LIV Golf of unfair tactics

The PGA Tour has filed a counterclaim against Saudi-funded LIV Golf accusing the rival league of inducing top players to breach PGA Tour contracts by claiming the tour could not enforce them. The counterclaim was included in the PGA Tour’s response to the amended antitrust lawsuit filed in federal court in northern California, which included […]
2 days ago
Educator and Tom Marquand, left, in action during the Radcliffe & Co Handicap at Salisbury Racecour...
Associated Press

Royal silks return as King Charles III’s horse finishes 2nd

SALISBURY, England (AP) — The famous royal silks returned to British horse racing on Thursday, with the first runner under the ownership of King Charles III finishing a distant second at Salisbury. Educator was the first horse to wear the purple, red and gold silks since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8. […]
2 days ago
Honey bees are swept from an upright at the beginning of the NFL football game between the Tampa Ba...
Associated Press

Buccaneers, Chiefs will play in Tampa as scheduled

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Sunday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa as scheduled. The Bucs spent most of this week in the Miami area preparing for the highly-anticipated prime-time matchup featuring quarterbacks Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes to avoid direct contact […]
2 days ago
FILE - Signage at the headquarters of the NCAA is viewed in Indianapolis, March 12, 2020. The NCAA ...
Associated Press

NCAA steering farther and farther away from harsh penalties

The days of postseason bans and crippling scholarship reductions to punish schools for breaking NCAA rules appear to be winding down. Memphis was placed on three years of probation earlier this week with a public reprimand and fined for NCAA violations related to the recruitment and short college career of James Wiseman, who is about […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Former El Salvador soccer boss sentenced in US bribery case

NEW YORK (AP) — The former president of El Salvador’s soccer federation was sentenced on Thursday to 16 months in prison in the long-running FIFA corruption scandal. Reynaldo Vasquez, 66, told a judge in federal court in Brooklyn that he felt “great shame” over his role in a bribery scheme that involved media and marketing […]
2 days ago
Ingram, Hart lead Pelicans past Magic for 4th straight win