TAMPA, Fla. — JJ Redick converted a four-point play with just over a minute remaining and finished with 23 points, and Brandon Ingram led all scorers with 24 points as the New Orleans Pelicans rallied from an 11-point deficit and beat the relocated Toronto Raptors 113-99 on Wednesday night.
Zion Williamson had a big second half for the Pelicans and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds to help deliver new coach Stan Van Gundy a victory in his New Orleans debut.
Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 20 points. Kyle Lowry finished with 18 points and 10 assists in the opener for both teams.
Because of the current Canadian restrictions on cross-border travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Raptors are scheduled to play their first 17 “home” games at Tampa’s Amalie Arena. The second half of the NBA’s schedule will be released later.
Lowry hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter, and when Siakam made consecutive 3-pointers, the Raptors opened their largest lead of the game at 11 points.
Redick hit a couple 3s late in the second period, but the Pelicans went into the break trailing 57-50.
Early in the second half, Lonzo Ball and Bledsoe hit 3-pointers in a 9-0 run. Then, Ball and Ingram did all the scoring for the Pelicans on a 10-2 run that finished the third quarter and gave the Pelicans an 88-79 lead.
Pelicans: Williamson, who averaged only 27.8 minutes over 24 games in an injury-filled rookie season, went to the bench with three fouls with 8:10 left in the first half. He did play 30 minutes. … New Orleans shot 52.5% in the game.
Raptors: The loss ended Toronto’s seven-game win streak in season openers. … It was Lowry’s ninth straight opening-day start for the Raptors. … The Raptors have seven undrafted players on their season-opening roster.
Pelicans: At Miami on Friday. Coach Stan Van Gundy is 21-14 against the first of the four teams he has coached.
Raptors: At San Antonio on Saturday.