The New Orleans Pelicans have new life after a huge Game 2 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
After an embarrassing Game 1 loss, New Orleans came back on Tuesday night and won Game 2 on the road in Phoenix, 125-114. Led by Brandon Ingram’s 37 points and CJ McCollum’s 23 points, the Pelicans tied the series up at one apiece for their first playoff victory since 2018.
There was a point in the third quarter where Brandon Ingram looked like he was laboring up and down the court. He was grimacing after every offensive possession and seemed to be favoring one side as he cautiously moved around on defense.
It was later found out that Ingram rolled his ankle as he landed awkwardly after shooting a jumper.
As painful as that looked, it didn’t stop Ingram from playing the best game of his young career.
The Suns simply didn’t have an answer for Ingram all night long which is saying something because Phoenix has one of the best perimeter defenders in the league in Mikal Bridges and other capable defenders in Devin Booker, Cam Johnson, and Jae Crowder.
No matter who Phoenix put on him, it didn’t matter. Ingram torched all of them and he did it in all levels of the game. He drove to the rim and finished with finesse, drained threes, got to the foul line, and hit extremely difficult mid-range jumpers.
His 10 points in the fourth quarter proved to be clutch for New Orleans as they fought for their impressive win over Phoenix.
With how impressive Ingram’s performance was, and it was impressive, it was overshadowed by what happened to Devin Booker.
Booker was spectacular in the first half scoring 31 points on 12-19 shooting including 7-11 from downtown. But, with 4:45 left in the third quarter, Booker appeared to tweak his hamstring as he was jumping to challenge a Jaxson Hayes dunk in transition. ended up leaving the game in the third quarter with right hamstring tightness.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Booker is likely to miss Games 3 and 4 in New Orleans with a mild hamstring strain, but he hasn’t been ruled out for the rest of the opening-round Western Conference series.
The Suns were 8-6 in games without Booker this season.
Phoenix will have to figure out a way to contain Ingram heading into Game 3 because right now it doesn’t look like anyone can slow him down.
Plus, with the news of Booker’s injury, the Suns have their hands full here in the opening round.