CJ McCollum had 22 points, Zion Williamson had 21 points and 12 rebounds and the New Orleans Pelicans routed the Los Angeles Clippers 112-91 on Sunday afternoon at Crypto.com Arena.
The Pelicans improved to 4-2 on the season, getting a huge spark with Williamson returning to the lineup after missing the last two games with a right hip and lower back contusion.
“When he touches the ball, he makes the right play, whether it’s to score for himself, finding his teammates or kicking it out, setting screens, continuing to move,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said on Williamson. “He was fantastic.”
New Orleans had six players finish in double figures and made 15 three-pointers on the day. Naji Marshall finished with 17 points while Trey Murphy III and Larry Nance Jr. both added 15.
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“We got some special shooters on this team,” Williamson said after also tallying seven assists. “I’m able to find them and they knock the shots down.”
The Clippers (2-4) dropped their fourth game in a row and Kawhi Leonard missed his third consecutive game due to knee management.
The Pelicans dominated the glass by outrebounding the Clippers 50-39 and also held a 54-34 advantage with points in the paint.
“We’re not a very good basketball team now and we got to change that,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said.
Norman Powell led the Clippers with 18 points off the bench. Paul George had 14 points while Marcus Morris added 12.
“To be 27th in the league in scoring, that’s terrible with all the talent we have,” Lue said.
“It starts with me. I was poor tonight. I’ve been poor the last couple games. I’ll get it together,” George said. “I’m committed to my work, I’m committed to this team succeeding.”
Los Angeles outscored New Orleans 25-18 in the first period but that went on to be the only quarter the Clippers were able to outscore the Pelicans the rest of the way.
The game was tied at 52-52 through 24 minutes of play but momentum quickly shifted in the second half as the Pelicans outscored the Clippers 60-39 during the final two quarters.
Williamson stretched New Orleans lead to 11 with 1:11 left in the third after converting an and-one layup that extended the Pelicans lead to 78-67 heading into the final period.
The Pelicans went on to lead by as many as 24 in the fourth, making five threes in the quarter as New Orleans cruised to a 112-91 victory over Los Angeles.
“We’ve just got a way to find a way to have joy and find fun,” said Clippers guard John Wall, who finished with eight points and six assists.
The Clippers will next host the Houston Rockets on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Los Angeles will travel to face Houston again on Wednesday night at 5:00 p.m.