Marshall scores career-high 23, but Pelicans fall to Nets, 108-102

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving missed 32 combined shots, but they didn’t care one bit.

Durant had 33 points and 10 rebounds, Irving had 7 of 19 points in the 1:12 final, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the shorthanded New Orleans Pelicans 108-102 Friday night ( January 6) at the Smoothie King Center. .

CJ McCollum had 28 points and Naj Marshall had a career-high 23 points in the Pelicans’ second game since losing Zion Williamson to a right hamstring strain for nearly three weeks.

José Alvarado added 17 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds. was not

“Obviously we’re missing some players,” Alvarado said. “We had a chance to win the game, but there were some things that didn’t work out… Kyrie hit the big three and it got a little bit harder, but we have to look back and learn.”

The Pelicans led most of the game, but struggled shooting in the second half, finishing 39.8% (35/88).

After making 10-of-17 3-pointers in the first half, New Orleans made 2-of-12 3-pointers in the second half. Meanwhile, Nets center Nick Claxton defended the paint for five blocks.

On defense, the Nets were “really aggressive in the second half,” said Brooklyn coach Jack Vaughan, referring to his team’s “ability to contest shots at the rim.”

“Nothing was easy,” said Vaughan. “There is no Walkup Transition 3 that we gave up early in the game.”

Brooklyn shot 43.5% (37 of 85), including 15 of 33 from deep.

“Our growth as a team has only seen some of the team’s leaders calm down, including myself,” Irving said. He hit a 3-pointer from 29 feet out with 44 seconds left to give the Nets a 106-100 lead and doomed New Orleans to suffer their fifth home loss of the season. “Maybe we’re just feeling like we’re making incredible progress in a game like this.”

TJ Warren scored 15 points in Brooklyn and Royce O’Neill added 14, including a 3-pointer with 2:27 remaining.

“There will come a time, like tonight, where the shots don’t fall,” said Durant, who made 9 of 26 free throws and made all 11 free throws. “Anyway, I liked how it kept being sharpened.

“You still have to go out and lock in on the defensive side of the ball. It’s the type of game you want to play to get to know your team and understand your team even more. It’s going to be a team, so it was a good test for us.”

After trailing by 15 in the second quarter and 11 at halftime, the Nets started the third quarter 17-5, capped by O’Neill’s second-chance 3, leading 70-69. From there until the final minutes, the game remained tight.

Marshall helped the Pelicans get off to a fast start in the first quarter with 10 points, and three 3-pointers were highlighted.

Alvarado’s 3 and driving layup sparked an 11-0 run, with the Pelicans leading 43-28 in the second quarter and New Orleans leading 64-53 at halftime.

Pelicans manager Willie Green said, “The Nets came out in the second half, picked it up, made more shots and got a little more physical with us, but it affected our power and pace. “There were multiple guys guarding Kyrie and Kevin, trying to get close to the shooter. I thought we did a solid job. can continue.”

Note: The Nets have won four in a row in New Orleans. … Trey Murphy III scored his 11 points. … Marshall has scored 20 or more in three games this season. …As the Three Kings Day marks the start of his season of carnivals, which will continue until Fat Tuesday, the Pelicans will release a “City Edition” featuring the purples, greens and golds associated with New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations. debuted the uniform. 1870s. … The Pelicans will play in Dallas on Saturday night, beginning a five-game trip.

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