New Orleans Pelicans Player Grades in 138-117 Win Over Portland

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The New Orleans Pelicans won 138-117 over the Portland Trail Blazers behind a great night from Zion and an all around team effort.

After stumbling in the first half, the New Orleans Pelicans put it all together in the third quarter against the Trail Blazers Tuesday night in the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans ended the night with a decisive edge in both rebounding (50-40) and assists (40-21) after it looked like Portland might run away with it early on. The Pelicans found themselves down 16 in the first half before cleaning up their turnovers and trimming the lead to just two at the half.

From there it was all Pelicans, who exploded for 41 points in the third quarter and turned what was a very tight game into a blowout. The big story of the night was the return of Zion Williamson, who didn’t disappoint, dropping a career-high 31 points in just 28 minutes on the  floor. Zion will get most of the headlines, but last night’s victory was a team effort, which is reflected in the box score. It was a big win for the Pelicans and helped their playoff chances in the loaded Western Conference. Let’s take a look at how players graded out after a thrilling win against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Point Guards

Lonzo Ball:  C

Ball ended the night with a respectable nine points, 10 assists and six rebounds, but had a poor shooting night (4-11) and added four turnovers. Ball was sloppy early on, turning the ball over and missing some open jumpers and even a lay-up. Ball has been playing his best basketball of the season, but has not played well against Portland overall. Even though he had a poor night shooting and handling the ball, Ball stuck with it and played good defense throughout. Early in the first half Ball coughed it up on a lob attempt to Zion, but he stayed with the play and turned what was likely a turnover into a made three-pointer. Ball didn’t have his best night, but he played hard.

Frank Jackson:  A-

Jackson played an efficient 23 minutes and basically did everything a team wants their backup point guard to do. He shot four for seven overall but was able to hit three out of his four three-point attempts. Jackson took care of the ball, with just one turnover to five assists and ended the night with a +15 plus/minus, third best on the team. It was an efficient and productive night for Jackson.

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