NEW ORLEANS — C.J. McCollum scored 14 of his 30 points in the third quarter and the New Orleans Pelicans overcome Ja Morant’s 36-point effort to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 113-102 on Tuesday night.
McCollum had averaged just 9.5 points on 27% shooting in his previous four games, was 7 of 13 from long range to help make up for Zion Williamson’s scoring absence with the star forward out with a bruised right foot.
The Pelicans led 89-87 after three quarters and opened the fourth with a 15-4 run, led by five points from reserve guard Jose Alvarado, to take a 104-91 lead. The Pelicans also got 19 points each from Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr., and they held Memphis to 15 fourth-quarter points.
McCollum hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter.
Morant had a 24-point first half to power Memphis to a 60-59 lead. Morant did his damage driving into the paint and also from the outside, going 8 of 12 from the floor, including 2 of 3 from long range. He also made 6 of 8 from the foul line and had three first-half steals.
Dillon Brooks added 19 for Memphis.
Morant closed the first quarter with a 45-foot, 3-pointer that beat the buzzer to break a 35-35 tie.
Grizzlies: F/C Jaren Jackson made his season debut after missing the first 14 games after right foot surgery. … G/F Desmond Bane, averaging 24.7 points a game, was out with a sore right toe. … Morant returned after missing Sunday’s loss at Washington with left ankle soreness. … The Grizzlies won three of four against New Orleans last year, including each of the final three by double digits.
Pelicans: Williamson missed the game with a right foot contusion and is day-to-day to return, said coach Willie Green. Williams, who is averaging 23.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists a game, hurt his foot Saturday early in the fourth quarter of a 119-106 victory over Houston. Green said there was “definitely some hope” he could play Wednesday night when the Pelicans host the Bulls.
Grizzlies: Host Oklahoma City on Friday night.
Pelicans: Host Chicago on Wednesday night.