NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 26 points, Zion Williamson added 24 and the New Orleans Pelicans remained unbeaten on this young NBA season with a 96-87 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
Ingram hit an array of mid-range pullups, turnaround and fades, while Williamson was a force going to the hoop to give him at least 22 points in each of New Orleans’ first two games.
RJ Barrett scored 18 for the Knicks, who appeared to run out of steam in the fourth quarter after winning in Atlanta one night earlier.
The Knicks were as close as six points late in the third quarter when former Pelican Josh Hart’s 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run.
But Jonas Valanciunas’ first eight points of the game early in the fourth quarter sparked a 10-1 run that put the Pelicans up 85-69. New Orleans maintained a comfortable lead from there.
CJ McCollum scored 12 points and Herb Jones added 10 points to go with three blocked shots.
Jalen Brunson, who scored a team-high 31 for the Knicks on Friday night against the Hawks, missed his first six shots in New Orleans. He didn’t make his first field goal until he rolled in an 11-foot fade as he was falling down early in the third quarter and finished with 14 points.
New Orleans-area native Mitchell Robinson grabbed 15 rebounds for New York. Julius Randle grabbed 12 rebounds and scored 10 points, but missed 11 of his 15 shots, including all five he put up from 3-point range. Hart grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Knicks shot 2 for 17 from deep in the first half, and all those long rebounds helped the Pelicans run out to a 19-point lead.
New Orleans had 19 of its 25 fast-break points in the first half, when it also scored 30 of its 52 points in the paint.
The Pelicans also hit seven 3s in the opening half, with rookie Jordan Hawkins, the No. 14 draft pick out of Connecticut, hitting three of those to help New Orleans take a 55-37 halftime lead.
Knicks: Visit Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Pelicans: Host Golden State on Monday.