Jonas Valanciunas' huge night lifts Pelicans over Clippers

2021-11-30 05:58
Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Jonas Valanciunas scored a career-high 39 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the visiting New Orleans Pelicans (6-17) to a 123-104 (37-22, 30-30, 23-26, 33-26) win over the Los Angeles Clippers (11-10) on Monday night.

Valanciunas made all seven of his 3-point attempts in the first half before finishing 7-for-8 from long distance.

The Lithuanian big came close to breaking Linas Kleiza's record who scored 41 points back in 2008, recording the highest mark by any Lithuanian player in the NBA.

Player of the Game
Jonas  Valančiūnas
Jonas Valančiūnas
Points 39
Accuracy 15-24
Rebounds 15
Assists 3

Brandon Ingram added 27 points and Herbert Jones scored 16 for the Pelicans, who have won three of four for the first time this season.

Paul George scored 27 points, but he committed seven of Los Angeles' 15 turnovers.

Reggie Jackson added 19 points and Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 13 off the bench for the Clippers, who were coming off a 105-90 loss to the visiting Golden State Warriors on Sunday afternoon and have dropped five of seven overall.

Valanciunas scored 29 points in the first half as the Pelicans built a 67-52 lead.

The Clippers briefly cut the deficit back to single digits on a drive by Jackson with 9.6 seconds left in the third quarter, but Garrett Temple sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to increase the lead back to 90-78 entering the fourth.

George pulled the Clippers within eight points three times midway through the fourth, but Los Angeles pulled its starters when down by 17 with 2:56 left.

The Clippers made their first five shots to start the game, but the Pelicans made seven of their first eight to move out to an 18-11 lead.

New Orleans led by as many as 19 in the first quarter before taking a 37-22 edge into the second.

Valanciunas sank 3-pointers on three straight possessions to make it 60-39 with 4:47 left in the half, and the Pelicans ultimately took a 15-point lead into the break.

Valanciunas, a 6-foot-11 center who is in his 10th NBA season and first with New Orleans, is the sixth NBA player to go 7-for-7 on 3-pointers in a half since 1996-97, when the league began tracking play-by-play.

He joined Raef LaFrentz (2005), Shawne Williams (2011), Ben Gordon (2012), Stephen Curry (2013) and Trevor Ariza (2014).

New Orleans Pelicans: Jonas Valanciunas 39 (15/24 FG, 7/8 3PT SHOTS, 15 REB, 3 AST, 2 ST), Brandon Ingram 27 (12/18 FG, 7 REB, 4 AST), Herbert Jones 16 (6/10 FG, 4 REB), Guillermo Hernangomez 9 (6 REB).

Los Angeles Clippers: Paul George 27 (10/20 FG, 3/10 3PT SHOTS, 3 REB, 7 TO), Reggie Jackson 19 (7/14 FG, 5 REB), Luke Kennard 13 (6 REB), Serge Ibaka 13 (6 REB), Eric Bledsoe 10.

Jonas Valanciunas' performance

Full game highlights

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