The New Orleans Pelicans defended home court on Sunday night, pulling away from the Phoenix Suns for a 118-103 victory in Game 4 of their first-round series. Now all tied at 2-2, the series will shift back to Phoenix for a pivotal Game 5 on Tuesday night.
Just as he has all series, Brandon Ingram led the way for the Pelicans, finishing with 30 points, four rebounds and five assists. He was particularly influential in the game-changing third quarter, scoring 18 points as the Pelicans turned a halftime deficit into a double-digit lead. The Pels never trailed again, and pulled away in the middle of the fourth quarter with an energetic run led by the defense of rookies Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado. They also got a big night from Jonas Valanciunas, who went for 26 points, 15 rebounds and four assists.
Deandre Ayton had 23 points for the Suns, while JaVale McGee added 14 off the bench on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting performance. Those two being the leading scorers is never a good sign for the Suns, though, and they just didn’t have enough offense in this game with Devin Booker still sidelined due to a hamstring injury.