Pelicans vs. Suns score, takeaways: New Orleans uses big second half to lower Phoenix in Game 4, right up in the series

The New Orleans Pelicans defended at home Sunday night and withdrew from the Phoenix Suns to a 118-103 victory in Game 4 of their first round. Now all drawn at 2-2, the series will switch back to Phoenix for a decisive game 5 Tuesday night.

Like he has all series, Brandon Ingram led the way for the Pelicans and finished with 30 points, four rebounds and five assists. He was particularly influential in the changing third quarter, scoring 18 points as the Pelicans turned a deficit in the break to a double-digit lead. Fur was never behind again, retiring in the middle of the fourth quarter with an energetic run led by the defense of rookies Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado. They also got a great night out from Jonas Valanciunas, who went after 26 points, 15 rebounds and four assists.

Deandre Ayton had 23 points for the Suns, while JaVale McGee added 14 points from the bench on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting performance. However, the two who are the leading goal scorers are never a good sign for the Suns and they just did not have enough offensive in this match where Devin Booker was still on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

Here are some important things from the game:

Ingram shows the way

Brandon Ingram had never played in a playoff game prior to this season, a fact he did by not following the team’s play-in victory over the Los Angeles Clippers to win the No. 8 seed.

“Man it feels wonderful,” Ingram said at the time. “Just to have a chance to be in the off-season this year. Never had a winning record, never been in the off-season. To have a chance to showcase my talent on the biggest stage is beautiful.”

He has taken that chance and a little more. On Sunday night, he put together another strong performance and finished with 30 points, four rebounds and five assists for his third game with 30 points in a row in this series. He is the first player in Pelican franchise history to have achieved that feat.

After the Pelicans went cold at the end of the first half and gave up the lead, Ingram set the tone from the break. He either scored or assisted on five straight baskets to start the third quarter, bringing the Pelicans back in front forever. Later, he threw down a huge driving dunk that was the highlight of an 18-point frame.

This was a bit of a disappointing regular season for Ingram as injuries limited him to just 55 games. Now that he’s completely healthy, he’s showing why he’s a potential perennial All-Star. If he continues to play at this level, the Pelicans have a real chance of stealing this series.

Jones and Alvarado put on a defensive clinic

Pelicans rookies Herb Jones (second-round pick) and Jose Alvarado (undrafted) were not well-known names entering the playoffs, but the duo have garnered plenty of recognition over the first four games. Sunday night’s game 4 was the crowning achievement for this point as they harassed the Suns all night long and led a key attack in the fourth quarter to help Pels pull away.

Within minutes, Jones blocked a 3-pointer by Mikal Bridges – an astonishing display of athleticism and timing – Alvarado forced Chris Paul to an eight-second call, and Jones stole a pass in the backcourt before driving in for one and one on a blatant error by Paul. A lead of seven points turned into a lead of 14 points and that was the ball game.

At the end of the fourth, Alvarado put an arc over things by finally getting one of his characteristic sneaky steals on Paul. The veteran especially waved Alvarado away as he tried to pull moves earlier in the series, but he let his guard drop late in this match. Alvarado poked the ball away and appropriately found his way to Jones for a layup.

No fourth-quarter magic from Paul

Twice in this series, we’ve seen Chris Paul take over the game in the fourth quarter, leading the Suns to wins in games 1 and 3 with clinical execution down the stretch. His balance and shot production in Game 3 was especially the Hall of Fame thing, as he put in 19 points and either scored or assisted on nine of the Suns’ 11 baskets in the frame.

There was no such magic on Sunday. In fact, Paul had one of the worst performances of the season in his career, finishing with just four points on 2 of 8 from the field and 11 assists. His four points, 25 percent field goal percentage, zero 3-points and zero free throws were all either the worst or a draw to the worst of his playoff career. There were also some uncharacteristic laps down the stretch when he was called for eight seconds and was stripped by Alvarado on his trademark sneaky steal.

With Devin Booker still on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, the Suns simply can not afford this type of nights from Paul. He does not have to start trying to play 25-30 per. match, but he is one of the few players they have who can consistently create his own shot and they need him to take even more of the offensive burden if they want to. to beat this annoying Pelicans team.

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