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Wizards 102, Pelicans 96

The SportsXchange

NEW ORLEANS - Forward Trevor Ariza scored a team-high 21 points, including a key 3-pointer to blunt a late Washington rally, and point guard John Wall scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half to lead the Washington Wizards to a 102-96 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night at the New Orleans Arena.

In winning on the road for the sixth time in seven games, the Wizards (16-17) outscored New Orleans 59-38 over the second and third quarters to break open the game.

The Pelicans (15-19), who dropped their third straight, scored the first eight points of the second half to cut Washington's lead to 61-52. But shooting guard Bradley Beal (17 points) continued his deadly outside shooting, nailing three 3-pointers in a 16-2 run that put the Wizards on top 77-54. At that point, Washington was 9-of-15 from behind the arc. The Wizards finished 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from long range.

The Wizards took control with a 33-16 second quarter in which they shot 64 percent from the field (14-of-22) and outrebounded the Pelicans 12-3 on their way to a 61-44 halftime lead. They made nine of their first 15 3-pointers in building 77-54 lead in the third quarter.

The Pelicans, who were led by guard Eric Gordon (23 points) and power forward Anthony Davis (16 points), got as close as 93-87 on guard Austin Rivers' driving layup and foul shot with 2:56 left. But Ariza canned a 3-pointer from the right corner to put Washington back on top 96-87 with 2:40 left. Ariza also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Wall torched the Pelicans for 15 points in the first half, including all three of his 3-point attempts, and Ariza had 11 points and seven rebounds.

New Orleans used a 14-1 run to take an early 20-12 lead, but Beal and Wall hit long-range jumpers as part of Washington's 16-8 run to close the quarter.

The Wizards then scored the first 12 points of the second quarter -- with forward Martell Webster hitting a pair of 3-pointers -- to take a 40-28 lead. Washington closed the quarter with a 21-10 run.

The Pelicans got 15 first-half points from Gordon, but sixth-man Tyreke Evans missed all five of his driving layup attempts, and the Pelicans shot just 44.7 percent from the floor overall.

NOTES: Pelicans PF Ryan Anderson, who suffered a herniated disk as a result of a nasty collision last Friday in Boston, is out indefinitely but will talk to the media Friday morning for the first time since being taken off the court on a stretcher. "The hit he took was a big-time blow, like a football hit," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. ... The Pelicans were coming off a 1-3 road trip in which they had several flights postponed because of winter conditions. "I've been in the league 20 years now, and I've never had a trip like that," Williams said. ... Washington coach Randy Wittman feels PG John Hall, averaging 19.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, may be headed to his first All-Star appearance. "Those things take care of themselves," Wittman said. "Winning helps, so that has to be our No. 1 focus. Most guys who reach that plateau, their teams are pretty good."
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