Pelicans Reactions: New Orleans completes franchise’s biggest comeback with OT win over Celtics

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Jacob Rude
·3 min read
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Trailing by as many as 24 points on the day, the Pelicans pulled off the largest comeback in franchise history by knocking off Boston in overtime, 120-115.

A lifeless first half saw the Celtics have their way with New Orleans, opening up a 24-point lead midway through the third quarter after leading by double digits for most of the second quarter. But the Pelicans chipped the lead down to 13 points by the end of the third period, setting up an exciting fourth.

In the final period, New Orleans came roaring back before trading big shots down the stretch between Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Jayson Tatum in the final minutes. Eventually, the two teams would head to overtime where New Orleans pulled away late to earn the biggest win of the season.

Ingram finished with 33 points, Williamson added 28, Josh Hart finished with 17 and Lonzo Ball had 16. Tatum tallied 32 for Boston.

The Good: The fourth quarter

A quarter that has been their nemesis more often than not this season, the Pelicans played with the urgency they often lack in the fourth on Sunday. After trailing by as many as 24 points on the night and by 13 entering the frame, an Ingram 3-pointer with 4:10 to go tied the game up at 98-98. There were a number of positives in the quarter, but it's hard not to single out the defense specifically considering how bad it's been of late for New Orleans. The lineup of Ball, Hart, Ingram, Williamson and Melli had energy and were active defensively, pressuring the Celtics in the backcourt and forcing misses and turnovers. That allowed the offense to get into the open court, play fast and create easier looks offensively. That allowed New Orleans to string baskets together, get into a rhythm with some momentum and make a run.

The Bad: The first 2.5 quarters

It's hard to pinpoint what exactly clicked in the final roughly 15-18 minutes of regulation for the Pelicans but up until that point, New Orleans looked destined to continue their losing skid. They looked lifeless offensively, couldn't stop anyone defensively and neither of their stars in Ingram or Williamson could get going. Ultimately, though, they were simply setting the stage for franchise history, clearly.

Lonzo Ball: Fast start, impactful finish

From a scoring perspective, Ball was most impactful in the first quarter with a fast start from beyond the arc. He hit his first three shots, all 3-pointers, to get off to a quick start to the day. But he was perhaps most impactful in the fourth quarter and overtime. Defensively, he was matched up with Kemba Walker and limited the former All-Star throughout the period. As important, though, was him dropping down to rebound to finish off possessions. He finished the night shooting 5-of-11 from the field, 3-of-6 from the 3-point line and 3-of-4 from the free throw line for 16 points while adding six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

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