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Ingram, Pelicans overwhelm Booker-less Suns to tie series

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) shoots against Phoenix Suns guard Landry...
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) shoots against Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet in the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series in New Orleans, Sunday, April 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)(AP)
Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 11:42 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 16 of his 30 points in the third quarter and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Phoenix Suns — playing without injured star Devin Booker — 118-103 in Game 4 on Sunday night to tie the first-round series.

Jonas Valanciunas reasserted himself in the middle with 26 points and 15 rebounds to help the Pelicans pull even heading back to Phoenix for Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Booker strained his right straight after scoring 31 first-half points in the top-seeded Suns’ Game 2 loss. Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 23 points and eight rebounds, and fellow center JaVale McGee had 14 points.

Chris Paul, who had 19-point fourth quarters in the Suns’ two playoff wins, was held to four points in 35 minutes. He had 11 assists, but committed three turnovers.

The Pelicans led 89-85 with 8:05 left and used a 12-0 run to ice it. Valanciunas, limited to six points in a Game 3 loss, scored 10 points in a 3:34 span of the fourth quarter to help the Pelicans pull away. He punctuated his scoring spree with a 3-pointer from the left wing.

New Orleans had a 35-23 advantage in the third quarter. Ingram was the catalyst, making 7 of 10 shots and assisting on two other baskets as New Orleans took an 84-74 lead. His flurry started on the Pelicans’ first three possessions of the half, with a pair of 15-footers and a layup.

The Suns used a 20-10 run, with Mikal Bridges breaking down the New Orleans defense with three layups in the final eight minutes of the first half, to take a 51-49 halftime lead.

TIP INS

Suns: Paul had 28 assists and zero turnovers in Games 2 and 3, but he had 11 assists and three turnovers on Sunday. In the first three games, his assist-to-turnover ratio was 38-2. ... Cam Johnson had 13 points.

Pelicans: The Pelicans committed 46 turnovers in the first three games to the Suns’ 28, leading to a point differential of 72-27. But New Orleans committed just seven turnovers in Game 4.

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