Pelicans shake off rust in fourth quarter to beat Bulls 115-111

Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson combine for 27 points in the final quarter
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 7:03 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 7:42 AM CST
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CHICAGO (WVUE) - With players going in and out of the rotations early in the season due to injuries, chemistry has been an issue for the Pelicans (6-5) but they got back above .500 with a 115-111 win over the Bulls in Chicago Wednesday (Nov. 9) night for the final game of a three-game road trip.

Despite another rough start, the Pelicans shook the rust off in the fourth quarter led by Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson who came alive to combine for 27 points in the final period to seal a win, avoiding having another game decided in overtime.

“They game-planned well,” Ingram said of the Bulls. “They set the double on Zion all night... on JV all night. They clogged the lanes. We had to adjust. We adjusted late but we made some shots late too.”

Zion only had 8 points for the first three quarters as the Bulls double and triple-teamed him to take away all lanes inside. The Pelicans also weren’t making Chicago pay from deep as they only managed to make 3 of their total 19 3-point attempts.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) drives as Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan,...
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) drives as Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan, left, forward Patrick Williams and center Nikola Vucevic, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)(Nam Y. Huh | AP)

However, in the fourth, Zion scored 11 of his total 19 points when he began scoring off of feeds while cutting to the basket or staying in motion rather than stationary post-ups.

Also in the fourth, Ingram played the role of the closer, running the offense from the top, making reads, and scoring. He also sank 5 of his 6 final attempted shots.

Herb Jones, who scored 17 points in the win, helped seal the win in the final minute when he hit a free throw to bring the final score within a two-possession advantage at 115-111. Though Jones missed the second free throw, he tapped the ball out on the rebound to a teammate, allowing the Pels to run out the clock for the win.

“Those guys did an excellent job down the stretch of executing,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said postgame. “We hit some big shots...collectively it’s hard to win in this building we did what we needed to do down the stretch. Big time win going home.”

Four of the Pelicans’ five starters scored in double-figures and center Jonas Valanciunas kept the Pels afloat in the first three quarters with a performance that earned him 21 pts, 13 reb, 3 ast, and 1 steal.

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls in scoring with 33 points. Zach LaVine had 23.

The Pelicans return home Thursday, Nov. 10 to take on the 8-3 Portland Trailblazers in the Smoothie King Center at 7 p.m.

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