Valanciunas, Ingram Lead Pelicans To 110-99 Win Over Rockets

Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets, NBA News
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jonas Valanciunas recorded 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Brandon Ingram scored 24, propelling the New Orleans Pelicans to break their three-game losing streak with a 110-99 victory over the Houston Rockets during Wednesday’s NBA action.

Entering the final quarter with a slight lead, the Pelicans unleashed a 15-0 run, bolstered by Jose Alvarado’s three-pointer and six points from Valanciunas, widening their lead to 20 points early in the fourth.

The Rockets faced challenges early in the fourth, failing to score until Fred VanVleet’s jump shot midway through the quarter. Pelicans coach Willie Green commended the team’s defensive stops and offensive flow during this pivotal stretch, especially highlighting Valanciunas’ significant contribution.

“That group that was in the game did a great job of getting stops,” Green said. “We were getting open looks, or we were finishing in the paint. We talk about Jonas, he got us going.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Updates

Although the Rockets managed to reduce their deficit to just eight points in the final two minutes with contributions from VanVleet, Jalen Green, and Dillon Brooks, Trey Murphy III of the Pelicans hit a timely three-pointer, dampening Houston’s rally.

Green was the Rockets’ top scorer with 31 points, followed by VanVleet’s 16. Rockets coach Ime Udoka lamented the team’s lack of energy and collective struggle.

“We just didn’t get (any) stops,” Udoka said. “We weren’t scoring, and they were doing whatever they wanted.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Updates

With Zion Williamson sidelined due to a bone bruise, CJ McCollum stepped up with 19 points for the Pelicans. Green praised Valanciunas for his critical role in Williamson’s absence, emphasizing his focused and impactful performance.

“He was fantastic,” the coach said. “JV was really locked in and focused on doing what was needed to help us win the game.”

Despite a comeback attempt by the Rockets in the third quarter, the Pelicans maintained their lead, finishing the quarter ahead and setting the stage for their fourth-quarter surge.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Updates

Jabari Smith Jr. of the Rockets had a difficult night, missing all his shot attempts and securing just one rebound in his second game back from an ankle injury.

The Pelicans look forward to their next game against the San Antonio Spurs, while the Rockets are set to host the Toronto Raptors, with both matchups scheduled for Friday night.

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