Brandon Ingram scored 37 points, CJ McCollum added 23 and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the top-seeded Phoenix Suns 125-114 on Tuesday night in Game 2, evening the series in their Western Conference first-round matchup.
Not only did the Suns lose the game, but they’re unsure about the health status of All-Star guard Devin Booker, who was spectacular in the first half with 31 points before leaving with right hamstring tightness in the third quarter.
The Suns — who led the NBA with a franchise-record 64 wins during the regular season — trailed 77-74 when he departed.
Phoenix kept the game close without its leading scorer and even took a lead early in the fourth, but the Pelicans rallied, getting big 3s from Jose Alvarado, Ingram and McCollum to take an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish.
Ingram added tough back-to-back jumpers in the closing minutes to keep a final Suns rally at bay. New Orleans earned its first playoff win since 2018.
Ingram finished 13 of 21 shooting from the field.
Game 3 is on Friday in New Orleans.
The Pelicans admitted they were a little surprised by the intensity of their Game 1 loss, especially during the first half when they fell into a 19-point halftime hole. They didn’t make the same mistake on Tuesday, taking a 30-28 lead after one quarter.
The Suns rallied for a 61-56 halftime advantage thanks to Booker scoring spree. He scored all of his 31 in the first half on 12 of 18 shooting, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range. He hit a 30-footer just before the halftime buzzer after the Pelicans inexplicably left him open.