Ariza, Wall Leads Wizards Past Pelicans, 102-96
NEW ORLEANS — Trevor Ariza scored 21 points and John Wall added 20 to lead the Washington Wizards to a 102-96 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
Bradley Beal added 17 points, Jan Vesley 12 and Marcin Gortat and Nene 11 each for the Wizards, who recorded their second road win in consecutive nights. Washington has won six of its past seven road games.
Eric Gordon scored 23 points and Anthony Davis 21 for the Pelicans, who were coming off of a four-game road trip that saw them endure a two-day delay in Indianapolis because of the severe winter storms that paralyzed air traffic earlier this week.
Brian Roberts scored 11 points, all in the second half, and Greg Stiemsma 10 for New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 23 in the third quarter.
New Orleans was outrebounded 46-37 and outscored 42-40 in the paint. However, the majority of the Pelicans’ interior points came late during a furious fourth quarter rally that came up short.
The Pelicans trailed 87-66 to begin the fourth quarter, but opened with a 14-4 run to trim the deficit to 91-80 midway through the period. The Wizards committed turnovers on three consecutive possessions during one sloppy stretch and scored only two points during another five-minute span.
New Orleans got within six at 93-87 with 2:56 remaining, but could come no closer.
With the exception of an early two-minute window, Washington dominated the first half, playing with much more energy on the defensive end and controlling the interior. The Wizards made their first five field-goal attempts in racing to an 11-6 lead.
But just as quickly, the shots quit falling and New Orleans took advantage, outscoring the Wizards 14-1 in a little more than two minutes to take a 20-12 lead with 4:21 left in the quarter. The Pelicans defense effectively sealed off the middle during the run, forcing Washington to settle for looks from the perimeter.
However, New Orleans’ spurt proved to be an early tease for the fans. The Wizards closed the quarter on a 16-8 run to tie the score at 28 and opened the second on a 12-0 run. Martell Webster’s 3-pointer gave the Wizards a 40-28 with 7:55 remaining in the quarter.
During that stretch, the Pelicans missed four shots and committed two turnovers.
Washington closed the half on a 21-16 run to take a 61-44 lead.
The Wizards outrebounded New Orleans 23-17, 12-3 in the second quarter when Washington outscored the Pelicans 33-16. The Wizards easily controlled the middle, scoring 28 points in the paint, compared to 18 for the Pelicans.
Many of those points came on easy layups or dunks, as the Pelicans appeared to be the more fatigued team as the half closed.
Wall scored 15 points, Ariza 11 and Vesely 10 for the Wizards in the first half.
Gordon led the Pelicans with 10 points in the half. The 61 points given up by the Pelicans tied a season high for points allowed in the first half. New Orleans also gave up 61 in the first half Jan. 1 at Minnesota, which resulted in a 124-112 loss.
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