Pelicans anger Suns losing Devin Booker

PHOENIX — Brandon Ingram scored 37 points, CJ McCollum added 23 and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the top-seeded Phoenix Suns 125-114 in Game 2 Tuesday night, the night of the series in their Western Conference first round matchup .

Not only did the Suns lose the game, they are unsure about the health of all-star guard Devin Booker, who was spectacular in the first half with 31 points before leaving in the third quarter with a right hamstring strain.

The Suns — who led the NBA with a franchise-record 64 regular-season wins — trailed 77-74 at his exit.

Phoenix narrowly held the game without their leading scorer and even took an early lead, but the Pelicans rallied and grabbed big threes from Jose Alvarado, Ingram and McCollum to capitalize on an advantage they were unwilling to give up.

Ingram added tough back-to-back jumpers in the final minutes to keep a final Suns rally at bay. New Orleans clinched its first playoff win since 2018.

Brandon Ingram, who scored 37 points, rides Cameron Payne in the Pelicans' 125-114 win over the Suns.
Brandon Ingram, who scored 37 points, rides Cameron Payne in the Pelicans’ 125-114 win over the Suns.

Ingram finished 13 of 21 shooting from the field.

Game 3 takes place in New Orleans on Friday.

The Pelicans admitted they were somewhat surprised by the intensity of their Game 1 loss, particularly in the first half when they fell into a 19-point halftime hole. They didn’t make the same mistake on Tuesday, taking a 30-28 lead after one quarter.

The Suns rallied to a 61-56 halftime advantage thanks to Booker’s scoring. He hit all of his 31 in the first half on 12 of 18 shots, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range. He hit a 30-footer just before halftime buzzer after the Pelicans inexplicably left him open.

Booker left the game and headed to the dressing room late in the third quarter. On possession before leaving, he jumped to deny a New Orleans fast-break shot, but it wasn’t immediately apparent he was injured.

He returned early in the fourth quarter with warm-up gear and never reentered the game. Booker missed several games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury. Pelicans anger Suns losing Devin Booker


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