The New Orleans Pelicans (18-8) extended their winning streak to seven games with a 129-124 victory over the Phoenix Suns (16-11) in overtime on Sunday. It has been a total team effort for the Pelicans as five players score double figures with four players grabbing seven rebounds or more.
It has been a tight matchup, just like what oddsmakers from Fanduel sportsbook expected. However, the Pelicans are on a roll with a healthy squad while the Suns do not have an answer for Zion Willamson.
Zion Leading the Pels Without Ingram
Despite missing star forward, Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans repeat a massive win against their western conference rival. Forward Zion Williamson scored 35 points (14-of-21 from the field) for the second consecutive game. Williamson’s presence in the pain has been a huge asset for the Pelicans in these last two contests. As per Pelicans coach Willie Green, Zion Williamson is a matchup problem.
“He just attacks. And when he attacks as he does, he’s just tough to cover… It’s incredible what he can do.”
Sunday’s victory for the Pelicans marked a historical moment for the franchise. The 18-8 record put them at the top of the Western Conference with a one-game lead over their nearest rival, the Memphis Grizzlies. It was also the first time in over eleven years that they had achieved such a feat.
Suns With a 4-Game Losing Skid
The Suns continue to struggle as they suffer a fourth straight loss, including a back-to-back loss against the Pels. Tuesday night’s game was a deja vu of last year’s playoff series between the two teams. With less than a minute on the clock in regulation, both Williamson and Marshall missed free throws that could have decided the winner.
Paul rose to the occasion and executed a perfect pull-up jumper with only 2.8 seconds remaining on the clock, knotting up the scores and sending the game into overtime. The extra frame proved to be more of a challenge due to both Paul and Ayton fouling out from their respective teams; New Orleans subsequently won by five points after ending its stint with an advantage in numbers–despite it being tight until the end.
“Let it slide off. Realize it’s a long season,” Paul said. “We know we definitely have to get better and right some things here. But it’s not done or die yet.”
As per the Suns’ Injury report, Devin Booker is still on a Day-to-day status with tightness in his left hamstring while Cameron Johnson (Knee) is still out.