Pelicans Defeat Blazers, Secure Sixth Place in Western Conference

On April 10, Trey Murphy III scored 31 points with eight rebounds, while CJ McCollum contributed 29 points, leading the New Orleans Pelicans to a crucial 110-100 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

 Zion Williamson added 22 points and seven rebounds as New Orleans (47-32) secured the sixth spot in the Western Conference, benefitting from the Phoenix Suns' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. With three games left, the Pelicans aim to maintain their automatic playoff berth.

Murphy and McCollum, the latter being a former standout player for Portland, both sank five 3-pointers as the Pelicans extended their winning streak against the Trail Blazers to six games.

Deandre Ayton scored 30 points with 13 rebounds, while rookie Scoot Henderson contributed 19 points and a career-best 15 assists for Portland (21-58). Unfortunately, despite their efforts, the team suffered its 12th loss in the last 14 games. Henderson's impressive assist tally marks a rookie record in Trail Blazers' history. Kris Murray contributed 14 points, while Duop Reath and Dalano Banton each notched 12 points for Portland.

New Orleans made 41.4% of their shots from the field, hitting 11 out of 36 attempts from beyond the arc. The Pelicans were incredibly accurate from the free-throw line, shooting 93.1% (27 out of 29), whereas Portland managed 87.5% (7 out of 8).


The Trail Blazers connected on only 47.1% of their shots, going 13 of 38 from three-point range. Portland struggled with ball control, with Henderson responsible for eight of the team's 21 turnovers.

The Pelicans held a 87-78 lead going into the final quarter. Portland narrowed the gap to eight points after a three-pointer by Murray. However, Williamson responded with five consecutive points, and Herbert Jones added two free throws, extending New Orleans' lead to 96-81 with 7:50 left in the game.

Murphy extended the lead to 104-85 with 4:42 remaining before Portland trimmed the deficit later on.

Ayton racked up 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting in the first half, propelling Portland to a 55-52 lead at halftime. McCollum contributed 17 points for New Orleans in the opening half. The game was deadlocked at 67 following Ayton's basket with 8:16 remaining in the third quarter. New Orleans then dominated, scoring 20 of the next 28 points and seizing an 87-75 lead after Murphy's 3-pointer with 1:52 left in the third.