Pelicans Beat the Nuggets to Keep Things Interesting in the West

Pelicans Beat the Nuggets to Keep Things Interesting in the West

Edwin Kiplagat
  • The New Orleans Pelicans routed the Denver Nuggets 107-88 to boost their playoff hopes
  • Brandon Ingram's triple-double led them to an important win against the Nuggets who were without Nikola Jokic
  • The Pelicans are now tied for 7th with Minnesota in the Western Conference with a 39-38 record

The battle for a place in the playoff for several Western Conference teams took another turn after the New Orleans Pelicans beat leaders Denver Nuggets who were without MVP candidate Nikola Jokic.

Brandon Ingram's triple-double saw the Pelicans win 107-88, leaving them seventh in the West with a 39-38 record.

Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, NBA, Pelicans, Denver Nuggets
The Pelicans have a tough schedule to end the season. Photos by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE.
Source: Getty Images

Ingram finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season, while CJ McCollum added 23 points. Trey Murphy III and Jonas Valanciunas both scored 15.

The Pelicans have now tied Minnesota Timberwolves for seventh in the West with their sixth victory in seven games.

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Jamal Murray led the hosts in scoring with 21 points. Bruce Brown scored 18, Aaron Gordon and Christian Braun finished with 11 each while Michael Porter Jr added 10, per ESPN.

What Pelicans' win means

It was a vital win for the Pelicans who blew a double-digit lead to lose against the Golden State Warriors in their last game.

Therefore, their remaining games are a must-win if they want to secure a play-in spot.

Furthermore, their remaining five games are tough and could define their season. They have four straight home games against LA Clippers, Sacramento, Memphis, and New York Knicks before playing Minnesota on the road.

The Pelicans and 10th-placed Oklahoma City Thunder are separated by one game.

Willie Green's team are in the play-in spot alongside the Lakers, Timberwolves and Thunder.

How Play-in tournament works: No. 7 plays No. 8 and No. 9 plays No. 10. The winner of the 7-8 game gets the No. 7 seed, while the loser plays the winner of the 9-10 game for the No.8 seed, per CBS Sports.

Zion Williamson's injury concern

Sports Brief earlier reported on the injury of Pelicans star Zion Williamson who has been plagued by injuries in his career.

The former Duke star injured his hamstring on January 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Pelicans have struggled since he suffered that injury.

His team's impressive start to the season was halted after he went down. He is expected to be back before the regular season winds down.