The Play-In tournament is about to end with the final fixture between the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans. The 7th seed has already been decided! This bout is to decide the 8th seed. The Pelicans beat the San Antonio Spurs to move on to the next round.
The Clippers started with a lineup of Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac and Terance Mann. The Pelicans started with CJ McCollum, Jaxson Hayes, Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas and Herbert Jones.
From the opening tip, Brandon Ingram took it upon himself to be their primary scoring option and he did by putting shots after shots. He made it a point to go after the Clippers weakened defense and make mid-range and layups.
From the Clippers side, Marcus Morris was making shots but they could not stop the Pelicans momentum. It translated into the 2nd quarter but they were successful in cooling down Ingram and restricting McCollum. Yet the Pelicans took the 1st half with 56-46 lead.
In the 2nd half, the Clippers took the momentum of the game along with them and made some serious stops. Ingram and McCollum struggled mostly because of the way defenders were putting their lives guarding them. The Clippers took a 10 point lead with Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris leading the way.
It seemed like the Clippers would be the one to advance but that is when the Pelicans bounced back. Ingram, McCollum and Trey Murphy took on the challenge and shot 3s. In a span of time, the Pelicans caught up and eventually built up a 5 point lead with 1 minute remaining till the buzzer sounds. The Clippers could not come back and they fell.
Brandon Ingram was the star of the Pelicans and he showed today he wanted to be in the playoffs by putting up 30 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. CJ McCollum put up 19 points and 3 assists, a bit underwhelming but still enough. Larry Nance Jr came up big scoring 14 points and grabbing 17 rebounds off the bench. Trey Murphy III came off the bench and showed off his marksmanship making 14 points with 67% from 3.
Reggie Jackson really gave his best putting up 27 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Marcus Morris put up 27 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Robert Covington and Norman Powell came off the bench and made decent contributions of 14 and 17 points respectively.
The Pelicans won the game with a scoreline of 105-101. They have now claimed the 8th seed in the Western Conference and will be moving on to face the Phoenix Suns. The Pelicans made the Playoffs after 4 years and they aim to at least win 1 game against the Suns.