Duke basketball star leads New Orleans Pelicans to NBA Playoffs

Former Duke basketball forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans are headed to the NBA Playoffs thanks to a former Duke basketball star. 

The bright lights of Los Angeles were not too big for former Duke basketball star Brandon Ingram on Friday night as he led the New Orleans Pelicans to the playoffs.

After a horrid start to the season, New Orleans was able to find its footing and earn a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament and did not waste its opportunity as one of the hottest teams in the league after the All-Star break.

The Pelicans were the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference and toppled the San Antonio Spurs, 113-103, in the win-or-go-home game in New Orleans on Wednesday night.

ALSO READ: Duke archrival returning to school for another season

Ingram played second fiddle to the 32 points of CJ McCollum against the Spurs with 27 points, five rebounds, and five assists of his own on 11-of-19 shooting from the floor in the victory.

Meanwhile, former Duke point guard Tre Jones posted four points in 17 minutes for the Spurs in defeat.

New Orleans would advance to play the Los Angeles Clippers on the road after the Clippers’ crushing loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed matchup, but that would be no major obstacle for Brandon Ingram.

Duke basketball star sets tone for critical matchup

The former Blue Devil took his talents to the City of Angels and calmly posted 16 points in the opening quarter on 8-of-9 shooting.

Ingram would not slow down as he led a fourth-quarter comeback charge for the Pelicans with 30 points, six rebounds, and six assists. New Orleans advanced to the playoffs with a 105-101 win.

ALSO READ: Duke freshman entering Durham with lofty expectations

Former Duke standout guard Luke Kennard, Ingram’s teammate in Durham for one season, did not play in either Play-In Game for the Clippers due to a hamstring injury suffered in the regular-season finale.

Zion Williamson remains sidelined for New Orleans.

Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans will remain on the road and face the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns, on Sunday night in the First Round of the NBA Playoffs.

Tipoff is slated for 9:00 p.m. EST on TNT.

Next. Duke superstar nearly perfect in dazzling Play-In effort. dark