Brandon Ingram broke out of a shooting slump to score 26 points and Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double as the host New Orleans Pelicans routed the Washington Wizards 127-102 on Wednesday night.
Ingram, who scored season-lows of 12 and nine points while shooting a combined six of 27 in the previous two games, made nine of 15 shots.
Valanciunas finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, Josh Hart scored 16, Willy Hernangomez had 13, Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 12 and Devonte’ Graham returned from a three-game absence due to a foot injury to add 12 as the Pelicans had a season-high point total and won for just the fourth time this season.
Bradley Beal scored 23 points, Raul Neto had 13, Spencer Dinwiddie added 11 and Montrezl Harrell 10 to lead the Wizards, who lost for the fourth time in five games after a five-game winning streak.
Daniel Gafford had three baskets as the Wizards whittled the Pelicans’ 22-point halftime lead to 80-62 midway through the third quarter.
Valanciunas answered with a basket, and Ingram made a jumper and a 3-pointer to rebuild the lead to 87-66.
Washington twice got within 16, but Hart beat the third quarter buzzer with a leaping 3-pointer from just inside mid-court while being fouled. He made the free throw to give New Orleans a 95-73 lead.
Valanciunas scored nine points as the Pelicans took the lead at the outset and built it to 19-5.
Dinwiddie made one of two free throws for the Wizards before Ingram made back-to-back baskets for a 25-9 lead.
Davis Bertrans made a 3-pointer to pull Washington within eight before New Orleans took a 36-27 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Ingram had two baskets during a 9-0 run that gave the Pelicans a 45-29 lead.
Harrell and Beal had consecutive baskets, but Graham made back-to-back 3-pointers to complete a 17-5 run and push the lead to 62-38.
The Pelicans finished with their highest scoring half of the season as they took a 72-50 halftime lead.