Ingram’s buzzer-beater lifts Pelicans to win over Wolves
Brandon Ingram capped a 33-point, nine-assist performance by hitting three 3-pointers in the final 1:13 — the last with less than a second left — and the New Orleans Pelicans edged the Minnesota Timberwolves 128-125 on Tuesday night.
Ingram went 6 for 7 from 3-point territory and his most pivotal shots came in a long-range exchange with Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards, whose fifth 3 of the game cut New Orleans’ lead to 117-115 before Ingram hit from the right wing while being fouled for a four-point play. After Edwards came right back with a left-wing 3, Ingram hit another from deep to make it 124-118 with 50.5 seconds left.
Malik Beasley’s sixth 3 of the game cut it to 124-123 with 12.9 seconds left, and the Wolves fouled Devonte’ Graham, who made one of two free throws with 9.2 seconds to go. Minnesota tied it at 125 on D’Angelo Russell’s driving scoop with 3.6 seconds left, only to see Ingram’s rainbow 3 from more than 25 feet swish through for the win.
Josh Hart had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Jonas Valanciunas added 13 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which shot 55.3% (42 of 76), including 16 of 33 (48.5%) from deep.
Edwards scored 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 for Minnesota, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped in an emotional, highlight-filled, up-tempo affair that included 19 lead changes and 14 ties.
Russell finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves, hitting four of his first five 3s before missing his last five. Beasley added 18 points, hitting six of eight 3s.
The Pelicans were nearly done in by turnovers. They committed 21, which Minnesota converted into 35 points. But New Orleans shot and rebounded better than the T-Wolves.
Minnesota sought to impose an up-tempo style on the game, but the Pelicans looked comfortable playing that way, too.
There were 17 lead changes in the first 24 minutes, during which neither team led by more than six.
The Wolves led 59-58 after Edwards’ 3, but the Pelicans scored the last seven points of the half on Ingram’s driving dunk, followed by Hart’s 3 and his cutting layup that made it 65-59.
New Orleans then opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run, during which Valanciunas scored five points for the Pelicans’ largest lead at 75-62.
Minnesota chipped away and pulled back in front when Edwards’ short floater capped a 7-0 run that began with Towns’ straight-on 3 and gave the T-Wolves a 112-111 lead with 3:32 left.
Timberwolves: Hit 18 of 39 3-point shots. … Forced at least 10 turnovers for a 37th straight game, the NBA’s longest active such streak. … Patrick Beverly scored 10 points.
Pelicans: Outscored Minnesota 48-44 in the paint, outrebounded the Wolves 38-32 and finished with a 28-8 advantage in fast-break points. … Herbert Jones scored 14 points, Jaxson Hayes had 13 points and Graham finished with 11, hitting his lone 3 on seven attempts in the fourth quarter.
Minnesota’s Jaylen Nowell and New Orleans’ Jose Alvarado collided viciously racing head-on for a loose ball near the timeline on the Pelicans’ defensive end. Alvarado, a 6-foot rookie guard, was driven backward off of his feet and fell horizontally on his back after the 6-foot-5 Nowell’s elbow caught him in the face. Nowell, meanwhile, sprained his left ankle.
Because Nowell got a hand on the ball first, Alvarado was assessed a loose-ball foul. While Alvarado was taken back to the locker room to get two stitches above his right eye, Nowell limped to the free throw line (the Pelicans were over the limit) and hit one of two foul shots before checking out of the game soon afterward.
Alvarado checked back into the game in the middle of the second quarter, but Nowell did not return.
Timberwolves: Visit Memphis on Thursday to complete their four-game road swing.
Pelicans: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night before embarking on a three-game trip to the Northeast.