McCollum makes 11 3s, scores 42, Pelicans beat 76ers 127-116
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 42 points, making a franchise-record and career-high 11 3-pointers, and Zion Williamson added 36 to power the New Orleans Pelicans to a 127-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
McCollum nailed 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions in a 42-second span of the second quarter, giving the Pelicans a 56-40 lead. McCollum finished the half 7 of 11 from long range and 11 of 16 for the game.
McCollum surpassed Peja Stojakovic’s franchise record of 10 3s in a game, set against the Lakers in 2007.
“It’s just a credit to working hard and believing in yourself and really, really taking the game seriously,” McCollum said. “Peja is obviously a legend who shot the ball extremely well. These types of nights come with preparation.”
The Pelicans were 10 of 17 from distance in taking a 67-60 halftime lead and finished the game 15 of 31 behind the arc.
Williamson, who scored 43 on Wednesday, had 12 in the fourth quarter as New Orleans pushed a 99-91 lead to 119-107 with 5:03 left.
“I love to see it,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “What makes Z special is that physically he can take all the bumps and all the hits and he keeps coming at you. I wouldn’t want to guard him.”
McCollum’s 11th 3-pointer with 2:26 left gave New Orleans a 124-110 lead and broke Stojakovic’s franchise mark.
“When he plays with that type of force and that pace — his slow-to-fast was just really good, and he just got it going,” Green said. “The basket got bigger as the game progressed. That’s how he has to play. He may not have 40 every game, but he’ll have a major impact.
Joel Embiid finished with 37 points on 14-for-22 shooting. He scored 15 of Philadelphia’s first 24 points and had 20 first-half points on 8-of-9 shooting.
James Harden added 20 points.
76ers coach Doc Rivers said his team surrendering 30 points off 19 turnovers was key to the loss, but he acknowledged McCollum’s marksmanship.
“McCollum was great tonight,” Rivers said. “He got a lot of those in transition. (But) I really thought that with the turnovers, we never could get a rhythm. It would be great if it was just one stretch, but it just never stopped.”
The Pelicans forced 13 turnovers in the first half and turned those into 25 points.
76ers: G Tyrese Maxey, the 76ers’ second-leading scorer (22.9), returned after missing 18 games with a left foot fracture, scoring nine points in 19 minutes. “I always think ball-handling is the toughest part of coming back,” Rivers said. “You just can’t practice the speed that you play with. We just want him to be aggressive and just not overthink the game.” … Philadelphia has lost two straight after winning eight consecutive games. … The Sixers entered the game second in the NBA in scoring defense (108.0).
Pelicans: F Brandon Ingram (averaging 20.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in 15 games) missed his 16th consecutive game with a left toe injury. He said Thursday his recovery has been up and down. “Whenever I feel 100%, I’ll give it a go,” Ingram said. “But it’s hard to say right now.” … F Larry Nance sat out with neck spasms. … The Pelicans have gone 12-4 in the last month, sandwiching a four-game losing streak with separate winning streaks of seven and five games. … New Orleans has lost just twice at home in the last 48 days.
76ers: Close a four-game road trip on Saturday at Oklahoma City.
Pelicans: At Memphis on Saturday.
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