Ingram has 26, Pelicans rally for 111-101 win over Pistons

DETROIT (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 26 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 13 points and 13 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 15-point deficit to beat the Detroit Pistons 111-101 on Tuesday night.

“What I like about this team is that we are trying to get better every night,” Ingram said. “No matter what we’re going through, we’re taking it in and learning from it.”

Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 14 of New Orleans’ 54 bench points, as the Pelicans ended a four-game losing streak.

“We were playing the second half of a back-to-back and we got down early,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “That’s a tough situation, but our guys accepted the challenge after halftime and came out with a different mentality.”

The Pistons, who overcame a 15-0 deficit to beat Cleveland on Sunday, led 76-61 with 7:38 left in the third quarter. But with Cade Cunningham sidelined by a hip pointer, they were outscored 50-25 the rest of the way.

“The difference in this game was one word: rebounding,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “They are a big, long team, so we needed to hit them first on the boards. We were never going to outjump them.”

Detroit’s Jerami Grant had 17 points in his return after missing 24 games with a thumb injury. With Kelly Olynyk (knee) also playing for just the third time since November, the Pistons had 19 turnovers.

“It almost like having a new lineup out there,” Pistons guard Frank Jackson said. “It’s going to take a while to get everything back in rhythm.”

Ingram hit two free throws with 8 minutes remaining to give New Orleans a 94-93 lead, its first since the first quarter. Without Cunningham, Detroit went nearly five minutes without scoring before Cory Joseph’s jumper made it 97-95 with 4:46 to play.

“I thought we played really well for the first two-and-a-half quarters, but we let up in the third,” Grant said. “We weren’t getting stops and they were getting offensive rebounds and second-chance points.”

Detroit’s shooting woes combined with New Orleans winning battles on the offensive glass allowed the Pelicans to go up 107-98 with 1:59 to play and win comfortably.

Grant scored 10 points in the final two minutes of the first half, giving the Pistons a 65-57 lead. That grew to 15 early in the third quarter, but New Orleans replied with a 13-2 run to pull within 78-74.

Gary Clark’s 3-pointer cut the lead to one with 8.3 seconds left in the quarter, but Killian Hayes’ layup beat the buzzer to give Detroit an 87-84 advantage.


Pelicans: Valanciunas finished with six of New Orleans’ 16 offensive rebounds. ... New Orleans finished with a 25-13 edge in second-chance points.

Pistons: Grant had a four-point possession in the second quarter, hitting a free throw after a technical foul was called on Ingram, then making a 3-pointer.


Ingram, who picked up the second-quarter technical for arguing a call, was ejected with 1:43 left after being called for taunting. After blocking Frank Jackson’s shot, Ingram leaned down and flexed over his close friend’s form.

“He just got excited because he blocked me,” said Jackson, who came to the Pistons from the Pelicans. “I love B - he’s such a sweet soul. He’s my boy - that’s all love.”

Ingram, who played at Duke a year before Jackson, joked that he’s going to ask his buddy to pay the fine.

“I already know the answer — Frank’s not going to pay — but I’m going to ask,” he said.


Pelicans: Visit the Denver Nuggets on Friday.

Pistons: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.