MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 27 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 22 points and 23 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped a season-opening three-game losing streak with a 107-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Devonte’ Graham added 21 points for New Orleans, which was again without injured star Zion Williamson. Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 17 points for the Pelicans, who had a 21-point lead trimmed to four points late in the third quarter.
Minnesota had its two-game win streak halted as its offense failed to find a rhythm until Anthony Edwards got the offense and the crowd going by scoring 21 of his 28 points in the third.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 32 points and 14 rebounds, and Patrick Beverly added 13 points off the bench.
A game after tying a franchise record with 30 turnovers, New Orleans was in sync early, using the extra pass to get its offense going. The Pelicans had eight assists as a team on their first nine baskets.
The Pelicans ended the first quarter on a 10-2 run to take control, and extended the run to 22-5 early in the second. The lead ballooned to 21 points before Edwards got involved.
Much of New Orleans’ lead was built with Towns on the bench.
After fouling out in the first game between the teams on Saturday, Towns was called for an early technical foul. Shortly after, he was called for an illegal screen that sent him to the bench with two fouls. Coach Chris Finch picked up a technical foul in support of his center.
Even with Towns on the court, Minnesota’s offense was largely reduced to quick 3-pointers and one-and-done possessions with the Pelicans controlling the boards.
New Orleans outrebounded the Wolves 60-41.
Edwards, the electrifying second-year guard, was held to two points in the first half on two free throws. Edwards and D’Angelo Russell were a combined 1 for 14 in the half, while Minnesota shot 6 of 24 (25%) from long distance.
Pelicans: Josh Hart missed his second straight game with right quadriceps tendinosis. Second-round rookie Herbert Jones made his second straight start and was scoreless. … Williamson remains out with a right foot fracture, and Daulton Hommes was inactive with right peroneal soreness. … New Orleans finished with 20 turnovers, leading to 23 points for Minnesota.
Timberwolves: With Russell going 1 of 8 from 3-point range, Minnesota finished 15 of 50 (30%) from beyond the arc. Russell finished with nine points on 3-of-14 shooting. … The Wolves shot 34.4% (31 for 90) from the field.
Pelicans: Return home following three-game road trip to face Atlanta on Wednesday.
Timberwolves: Travel to Milwaukee for their first road game of the season on Wednesday.
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