The Pelicans talented, and young roster, playing without first pick Zion Williamson, came within a whisker of defeating the defending champs on the opening night of the NBA regular season.
However, Kyle Lowry’s two free throws with 29.2 seconds remaining tied it, and the Toronto Raptors won it in overtime, 130-122 over New Orleans. New Orleans had taken a six point lead in regulation on a three point basket by Frank Jackson.
The Pelicans put five in double figures, led by Brandon Ingram with 22 points. Ingram also had five assists, and five rebounds.
The Pelicans made 19 three pointers, including 4 each by JJ Redick and Nicolo Melli.
Redick had 16 points. Melli had 14.
Josh Hart had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 34 points each.
The Raptors got their championship rings before the game. The Pelicans watched.
“I wanted our guys to have that experience,” said Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry.
The Pelicans play Dallas Friday in the home opener at 7 pm at Smoothie King Center.
Williamson, who had knee surgery this week to repair a torn meniscus, is expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks.