New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) shoots against Indiana...

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) shoots against Indiana Pacers forward Obi Toppin (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 1, 2024, in New Orleans. Credit: AP/Matthew Hinton

NEW ORLEANS — Brandon Ingram scored 19 of his 34 points in New Orleans’ franchise record-tying 48-point first quarter and the Pelicans beat the Indiana Pacers 129-102 on Friday night to split a home-and-home set.

Coming off a 123-114 loss in Indianapolis on Wednesday night, the Pelicans were 20 of 22 from the field in the first quarter in racing to a 48-26 lead.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” Ingram said. “I (saw) some shots go in, and I just kept shooting it. It felt good coming off my fingertips. I had space to operate a little bit and got to my mid-range. I just felt good with the ball in my hand.”

The 90.9% shooting was the highest field-goal percentage by any team in a quarter this season and the highest percentage in a first quarter by any team since Dallas shot 94% in a 2014 game against Utah.

“B.I. was incredible,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “It was just fun to watch him play with that force, with that pace, with the confidence that he had on the floor. His teammates all rallied behind him. Collectively, it was a great rebound game for us … to come home, get a little rest and get this win.”

Trey Murphy III added 28 points, hitting 6 of 12 3-pointers, another solid shooting performance after a string of subpar offensive outings since the All-Star break.

“It’s just knowing that I’m a complete basketball player,” Murphy said. “I don’t want to be a one-trick pony. I want to make sure I have a lot of different facets to my game. I knew (my shooting) eventually was going to come back. You put the work in and trust your work, and you’re going to get to where you’re supposed to be.”

Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle watches as guard Tyrese Haliburton...

Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle watches as guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) jumps to keep a ball in play during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Friday, March 1, 2024. Credit: AP/Matthew Hinton

Ingram, who also had seven assists, sparked the early spree with 9-of-11 shooting. Murphy made a 25-footer from the left wing early in the second to make it 57-26.

Just as Indiana set the tone in its win on Wednesday night by jumping out to a 40-24 first-quarter lead, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle pointed to the Pelicans’ 48-point first period as a mountain too high to overcome.

“The Pelicans put up historic numbers, and we did not get a defensive rebound (in the first quarter),” Carlisle said. “I have not heard of that happening.”

After being outrebounded 50-40 by the Pacers on Wednesday, New Orleans held a 47-43 edge on the boards on Friday, including 11-2 in the first quarter.

New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) shoots against the...

New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) shoots against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 1, 2024, in New Orleans. Credit: AP/Matthew Hinton

In addition to their hot shooting, the Pelicans played suffocating defense against the highest-scoring team in the NBA, holding the Pacers to 42.6% shooting and 21 points below their 123-point-per-game average.

Pelicans defensive specialist Herb Jones neutralized Tyrese Haliburton, holding the All-Star guard scoreless for the first time since November 2021. Haliburton was 0 for 7 from the field in 23 minutes.

“That’s Herb Jones,” Ingram said. “He told me he didn’t want me to switch at all today. He wanted to keep his matchup. He took it personal. A lot of credit to him and his defense.”

Isaiah Jackson and Bennedict Mathurin led the Pacers with 13 points each. Pascal Siakam and Myles Turner had 12 each.

Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and nine rebounds for New Orleans, and CJ McCollum added 14 points.

The Pacers held New Orleans scoreless for over five minutes during a 23-3 run in the second period that cut the deficit to 60-49. But the Pelicans regained their footing with a 17-7 run to close out the quarter, capped by Murphy’s deep 3 at the buzzer for a 77-56 lead. Murphy had 17 of his 23 first-half points in the second quarter, making 4 of 7 from long range.

Green said he loved how the Pelicans bounced back following Wednesday’s loss in which the Pelicans looked fatigued after having arrived in Indianapolis at 7:30 a.m. on game day because of mechanical problems with their charter jet.

“We have competitors on this team,” Green said. “We didn’t get a great start (on Wednesday) and guys were a little fatigued. We wanted to get home, get some rest, and we knew we could get after them. That’s what we did tonight.”

UP NEXT

Pacers: At San Antonio on Sunday night.

Pelicans: At Toronto on Tuesday night.

More NBA news

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