Clippers vs Pelicans score, fast points: Brandon Ingram leads New Orleans to No. 8 seed in the NBA playoffs

The New Orleans Pelicans head into the NBA playoffs after beating the Los Angeles Clippers, 105-101, Friday night and will now face the Phoenix Suns in the #1-for-8 game in the Western Conference.

Despite the fact that they were without the services of Paul George, who was ineligible to play in the game after entering the league’s health and safety protocols, the Clippers managed to run after falling by double digits to Brandon Ingram and the Pelicans. . However, in the end, it wasn’t enough to get the job done as New Orleans finally took the top. With the win, the next Pelicans face the Suns on Sunday night with the opening date set at 9PM ET.

With the loss, the Clippers see their season over in what must be a disappointing fashion considering the expectations they had after adding George and Kowhi Leonard to their roster.

Here are three main points from the game:

1. Ingram delivers

About 90 seconds into the bout, Brandon Ingram took off in a mid-range jump to give the Pelicans their first game point. And after a few possessions he did it again. Then again and again. He earned 16 points in the first quarter alone, en route to a performance of 30 points, six rebounds, and six assists which was one of the best of his football career.

2 overall in 2016, Ingram never played in a playoff, and entered the playoff tournament intent on changing that fact.

“It feels great, man,” Ingram said. “Just to get a chance to be in post-season this year. I didn’t have any winning record, and it wasn’t in post-season. Getting a chance to showcase my talent on the bigger stage is a beautiful thing.”

For much of the second half, it looked as though Ingram and the Pelicans might not get there. They let a 16-point lead slip away, and Ingram looked cool to the rest of the team. But after he was smothered by Nick Patom for the extensions, Ingram finally figured things out for fourth. He scored seven of his 30 points in the frame, and had some huge baskets as the Pelicans fought their way back.

It wasn’t the easiest season for Ingram, with injuries limited to 55 games, and he had to put up with much of the offensive burden with Zion Williamson not playing. But he’s healthy now, and when the season was on the line, he put in a great performance.

“Brandon Ingram is the truth,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “He just brought it in. It’s been that look in his eye since we got on the plane, to shoot. He’s been locked up. He’s been waiting for this moment, this kind of moment. His willingness is off the charts. This summer he’s been spending six hours a day. He believes With his teammates. It’s everything you want and more in a player and person.”

2. Play wins the tournament

When the National Basketball Association first decided to test the bubble play cycle in 2020, no one knew if it would be a short experience or the start of a new post-season era. After this week, no more guesswork. The Gameplay is great and it’s here to stay.

It will continue to have its critics for scenarios just like this, with the Clippers losing Paul George in one game and then being knocked out by a team that finished six games behind in the standings. Frankly, this is not an unreasonable situation, but it will not be enough to affect the league.

Gameplay improves the regular season by adding extra importance to games that have been meaningless for so long, and the revenue generated by the additional national TV games isn’t negligible. Most of all, actual basketball makes excellent drama. These winner-takes-all games are extremely rare in the NBA, and we’re now getting an entire week out of them. You can see how important winning in these games is for players, and there is nothing better than emotional high stakes basketball.

Just listen to this Willie Green speech:

Friday night’s match was a good example of that. If the NBA wants to make the case for a playing cycle, it must restart that game in one episode. Or even just the second half, which was one of the best 24 basketball minutes we’ve seen all season. Both teams came back in double digits after the break, with the match moving into the final seconds before the Pelicans pulled it off.

3. Pelican seat climbs

If all you did was check the final game stats, you should probably browse the bench points section which shows the Pelicans beating the Clippers 37-33 in that category. On paper, this is a statistical difference so small that it doesn’t seem noteworthy. But in practice, the Pelican seat was the difference in the game because it appeared along the stretch.

Larry Nance Jr., Trey Murphy III and Jose Alvarado all made big games time and time again to bring the Pelicans back in the fourth quarter and make sure they win. Nance and Murphy played nearly the entire fourth quarter, racking up 13 points, nine rebounds, and three assists in the frame. Meanwhile, Alvarado had only two rebounds and one assist on the stat sheet, but his hustle and bustle were crucial to the turnaround.

After Clippers’ style with a small ball stunned the Pelicans in the third quarter, Willie Green responded by going small as well, playing Nance halfway down the extension. It turns out that was a great move. Nance was glass fed, played a solid defense and got off a few buckets at the right time.

As for Murphy, he did exactly what the team was hoping for when they drafted him in the first round last year: They shot. He came up with three huge triples in the fourth inning, including one to tie the match with 4:40 left, and another to put the Bills seven and essentially seal the match with 2:10 left.