Ingram scores 26, surging Pelicans top Rockets 110-97

Feb 8, 2022, 5:42 AM | Updated: 9:24 pm

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. (3) shoots between New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes ...

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. (3) shoots between New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes (10) and forward Brandon Ingram (14) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

(AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans acknowledged that the emotions that came with losing teammates they care about personally in a significant trade might have contributed to a slow start against the reeling Houston Rockets.

Ingram eventually found his rhythm, scoring 26 points on a variety of drives, pull-up jumpers and 3s, and the Pelicans beat the Rockets 110-97 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to four games.

“Today, the whole day was kind of difficult,” Ingram said. “We lose some great players and some really good guys.”

The Pelicans were playing their first game since agreeing to a trade earlier Tuesday that will bring guard CJ McCollum to New Orleans. While McCollum was not yet available to play, the deal meant New Orleans had to play without prominent regulars Josh Hart and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who’ve been dealt to Portland as part of the trade that includes seven players and three draft picks in all.

Having not flown west yet, Hart and Alexander-Walker showed up at the game, sitting next to each other in courtside seats. Hart wore a red Pelicans jersey with Ingram’s No. 14 on it. The pair received an enthusiastic ovation from the crowd when shown together on the video board.

“It meant the world to me to see Josh and Nickeil on the sideline and still cheering us on to show us how real of a fan they are of us,” Ingram said. “It’s just weird seeing them on the sideline not playing with us … but I definitely love the support. I think I would have done the same thing if I was in their shoes.”

Rookie Herb Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double for the Pelicans, who led for most of the game and by as many as 19 points when Ingram’s 15-foot pull-up jumper made it 106-87 in the fourth quarter.

Jaxson Hayes, who has thrived lately since moving from reserve center to starting strong forward, scored 14 points — his fourth game in the last five with at least that many.

Kevin Porter Jr. scored 27 and Christian Wood added 19 points for the Rockets, who lost their third straight and seventh in eight games.

“We just couldn’t hit our shots,” Porter said. “Even layups, we were missing wide-open bunnies, so it was one of those games where the ball wasn’t going in the hole.”

The game was never tied and there was just one lead change in the first half.

Houston jumped out to a 12-4 lead but New Orleans rallied to take the lead for good when Jose Alvarado’s driving layup made it 28-27 late in the opening quarter.

The Pelicans led 64-53 at halftime and maintained a double-digit lead for much of the second half.

“It’s the game of basketball,” said Rockets guard Jalen Green, who scored 12 points. “You’re going to have days where every shot is going in (and) you’re going to have days where every shot is barely going in and out. We’ve just got to keep shooting.”


Rockets: Eric Gordon missed his second straight game with a foot injury. … Alperen Sengun and Garrison Mathews each scored 11 points. … Converted 18 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points, but shot just 37.2% (32 of 86), including 31% (13 of 42) from 3-point range.

Pelicans: Alvarado, an undrafted 6-foot guard whose playing time has surged lately, scored 12 points and 19 minutes in a reserve role. … Center Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. … Naji Marshall scored 14 points. … Reserve center Willy Hernangomez missed his third straight game under NBA health and safety protocols. … Garrett Temple returned from a two game absence under health and safety protocols. He played nine minutes and had one assist. … Shot 52.5% (42 of 80) and made 90% of their free throws (18 of 20). … Outscored Houston in the paint, 52-38.


When the game ended, Hart and Alexander-Walker walked onto the court near the Pelicans’ bench, where coach Willie Green hugged and spoke to them briefly before heading toward the locker room.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Green said. “To have guys show up to a game after they’ve been traded to support their brothers is what we’ve been trying to build — is what we are building — just that connectivity.

“I’m happy that Josh and Nickeil decided to come because it just speaks volumes of who they are,” Green continued. “I’m still trying to hold back some emotions because we’ve gone through a lot early in the season and those guys were major, major contributors to us getting to a point to where we felt comfortable.”


Rockets: Host Toronto on Thursday night.

Pelicans: Host Miami on Thursday night in the second of six straight games at home.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Ingram scores 26, surging Pelicans top Rockets 110-97