Two days after their first duel, particularly hot, the Pelicans and the Suns found themselves in New Orleans. And it’s still Zion Williamson (35 points) and his troops who win (129-124).
This time, no particular confusion to note, while Willie Green’s players will still need extra time to win. It was that Chris Paul had managed to snatch the extra period in his garden, while the Pelicans had yet got their hands on the meeting from the third quarter.
But without Devin Booker, and while Deandre Ayton then Chris Paul had to go out for six fouls, the Suns no longer had the weapons to carry out the heist in extra-time.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The “MVP, MVP” for Zion Williamson. He was not really in the discussion until now, but with this seventh consecutive victory, the Pelicans secure first place in the West and the strong winger continues to bludgeon all the defenders who come in front of him. His public thus reserved for him “MVP, MVP” during his passages to the free throws and the commentators began to speak about it. You only had to see Torrey Craig’s face at the end of the match to understand the consequences of a duel with the Louisiana golgoth…
– The Suns’ 19 offensive rebounds. Dominated at the level of the address, the players of Phoenix have on the other hand made a harvest with the offensive rebound, vis-a-vis Pelicans surprisingly negligent in the sector. Enough to afford a lot of bonus opportunities, which they did not always exploit very well.
– The slaughter of the « role players » of New Orleans. Certainly, there is Zion Williamson. But without Brandon Ingram or Herb Jones, the wealth of the Pelicans’ workforce is obvious. However, Jose Alvarado’s enthusiasm played tricks on him tonight, but Dyson Daniels was invaluable as a starter. His shooting is clearly a yardstick though, but the Aussie’s vision and defensive instincts are remarkable for a rookie. Off the bench, Naji Marshall brought his usual energy, while Larry Nance Jr. made Larry Nance Jr. (15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks). In short, it’s a real group, and its energy is felt.
– The decisive “challenge”. While New Orleans led by three points (123-120) in overtime, Chris Paul thought he had three shots on a foul from Zion Williamson. Except that Willie Green « challenged » the whistle and he was right, because the point guard was sanctioned for having stretched his legs to cause contact. Instead of three free throws, Chris Paul thus took his sixth foul of the evening…
✅ Zion Williamson. Still 35 points for the strong winger against the Suns. As in the last game, and as always, he pounded the defense, taking advantage of the slightest opening to sanction near the circle. He even made two 3-point shots. He still missed the winning shot before extra time, without consequence.
✅ Mikal Bridges. Deandre Ayton dominated Jonas Valanciunas under the circle but it was the address of Mikal Bridges (27 points) which allowed the Suns to be able to hope for the hold-up.
✅ Larry Nance Jr. We could cite a lot of Pelicans, starting with CJ McCollum, whose offensive activity was essential, but also Naji Marshall or Dyson Daniels. But the activity of Larry Nance Jr. off the bench remains a model of its kind. He even allows himself to slap monstrous posters!
✅⛔️Chris Paul. He snatches overtime on a shot of his own, and he still distributes 11 assists. But offensively, the leader is too behind this season. His 6 points at 3/10 shooting in the absence of Devin Booker are a problem, especially since he had a hard time making a difference in one-on-one.
Phoenix (16-11): after four straight losses, the Suns must revive in Houston on Tuesday evening (2:00 a.m.)
New Orleans (18-8): the Pelicans challenge the Jazz, also on Tuesday evening (03:00)