NEW ORLEANS (AP) — C.J. McCollum scored 14 of his 30 points in the third quarter and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame Ja Morant’s 36-point effort to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 113-102 on Tuesday night.
McCollum had averaged just 9.5 points on 27% shooting in his previous four games, but he was 7 of 13 from long range to help make up for Zion Williamson’s scoring absence with the star forward out with a bruised right foot.
“I’ve been playing like crap lately and feeling like crap and shooting the ball really poorly, which is uncharacteristic,” McCollum said. “You’re going to make shots; you’re going to miss shots. My track record speaks for itself in how I work and how I perform. You just keep swimming.”
Pelicans coach Willie Green said his teammates playfully mauled McCollum in the locker room for fighting through his shooting woes.
The Pelicans led 89-87 after three quarters and opened the fourth with a 15-4 run, led by five points from reserve guard Jose Alvarado, to take a 104-91 lead. The Pelicans also got 19 points each from Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr., and they held Memphis to 15 fourth-quarter points.
McCollum hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter, and his seven overall helped the Pelicans finish with a season high 18 3-pointers on 38 attempts.
“You’ve got to tip your cap,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “Obviously, they’ve got some lethal scorers in McCollum, Ingram and their teammates did a good job tonight.”
Morant had a 24-point first half to power Memphis to a 60-59 lead. Morant did his damage driving into the paint and also from the outside, going 8 of 12 from the floor, including 2 of 3 from long range. He also made 6 of 8 from the foul line and had three first-half steals.
Dillon Brooks added 19 for Memphis.
But Morant wasn’t happy with his team’s 42-point second half.