NEW ORLEANS — Eric Bledsoe capped a 19-point, 10-assist performance with a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute, and the New Orleans Pelicans held on for a 120-116 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.
Brandon Ingram added 31 points, capped by four free throws in the last 13 seconds to seal the victory. Zion Williamson scored 21 points, highlighted by a pair of driving spin moves in the lane to set up left-handed leaners off the glass.
The Pelicans lost a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, briefly falling behind in the final four minutes, but were able clamp down defensively and limit the Raptors to just one point during the final 2:47 of regulation.
Fred VanVleet scored 27 points and Chris Boucher added 24 for Toronto, which has opened the season by losing four of its first five games. Pascal Siakam scored 10 points, but fouled out with 8:30 remaining.
The Pelicans led 101-89 when Josh Hart made a free throw just after Siakam fouled out.
But Kyle Lowry quickly responded with a 3, igniting a 22-9 run that ended with 3s by OG Anunoby, Powell and VanVleet to make it 111-110 with 3:16 to go.
Ingram’s free throws tied it at 113 with 1:08 left. And after Toronto lost the ball out of bounds, Bledsoe hit his pivotal left-wing 3 with 41.6 seconds left.
Ingram scored 17 of his points in the first half, when he made three 3s and helped the Pelicans maintain a slim lead for most of the first two quarters despite shooting 36.7% (18 of 49) through the first 24 minutes.
VanVleet scored 11 of his 21 first-half points during the last seven minutes of the second period to push Toronto in front late in the half. Lowry added a 3 from 30 feet away to put the Raptors up 60-50 before a 3 by Lonzo Ball and Steven Adams’ putback dunk trimmed it to 60-55 at halftime.
© 2021 The Canadian Press
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