Improbably, even though it’s only 10 games into the season, New Orleans has been without every member of its projected starting five at least once due to injury. Leading scorer Brandon Ingram made it a clean sweep just before tip-off Monday, being ruled out of action due to knee soreness, after he had warmed up and tried to play through the discomfort.
Playing without Ingram for the first time in 2019-20, the Pelicans kept fighting back against the Rockets, but ultimately couldn’t pull ahead in the second half. Houston went up by double digits and held off a late New Orleans surge in the meeting of Southwest Division foes, collecting a fourth consecutive win after starting the season 3-3.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
James Harden canned a right-wing three-pointer, then dropped in a pair of free throws to give the Rockets a 110-93 lead with 5:20 left. New Orleans previously had pulled within a possession of the lead, but Houston went on a run to regain its breathing room. The 17-point edge was the Rockets’ largest of the evening; through three quarters it was just 11.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
JJ Redick turned in one of the best shooting nights of his NBA career, which is no small feat given that he’s moved into the top 20 all-time for three-pointers made. A starter next to Jrue Holiday in the backcourt since Saturday’s win at Charlotte, Redick made it two straight scorching offensive performances, this time going 7/15 from three-point range and piling up 24 points. Redick’s career high in three-pointers made in a single game is nine, which coincidentally he accomplished against Houston in ’16.
On Sunday and Monday gamedays throughout the season, we’ll be asking fans to vote for their Pelicans Player of the Week from the previous seven-day period. For a third consecutive week to open 2019-20, forward Brandon Ingram collected a majority of the votes on Twitter, this time over 80 percent, beating out nominees Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick and Kenrich Williams (Twitter user @CarsonK1012 apparently cast a vote for Williams, writing “The GOAT, Kenrich Williams”). During Week 3 matchups vs. Brooklyn, Toronto and Charlotte, Ingram averaged 30.7 points and shot 57 percent from the field. Ingram’s 40 points against the Nets were a career high.
Week 1 – Brandon Ingram
Week 2 – Brandon Ingram