NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Bam Adebayo had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Jimmy Butler also scored 29, and the Miami Heat beat the Pelicans 112-97 on Thursday night to tarnish CJ McCollum’s New Orleans debut.
Kyle Lowry added 14 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds to help Miami win its fourth straight while snapping New Orleans’ four-game winning streak.
The crowd roared when McCollum, who was traded from Portland on Tuesday, was announced as a Pelicans starter. He scored 15 in his first game for New Orleans, but missed 15 of his 21 shots and was just 2 of 10 from 3-point range.
Reserve guard Jose Alvarado, an undrafted rookie, had a team-high 17 points for New Orleans. Jonas Valanciunas and Devonte’ Graham each scored 16 for the Pelicans, while Brandon Ingram added 15.
Consecutive 3s by Alvarado and Graham pulled the Pelicans as close as 96-92, but Lowry responded with a 3 and Butler followed with a step-back jumper to give the Heat breathing room. P.J. Tucker’s 3 made it 104-94 with 3:49 to go and the Pelicans didn’t threaten after that, ultimately done in by 11-of-41 (26.8%) 3-point shooting.
McCollum’s night went well early. He had 10 first-half points, hitting twice from deep, during a competitive first half which concluded with the Heat leading 56-55.
Adebayo was a forceful presence in the paint and had 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting in the first half, helping Miami outscore New Orleans inside 28-14 during the opening two periods.
Miami didn’t take its first double-digit lead until Max Strus’ corner 3 capped a 7-0 run that made it 76-65 late in the third quarter.
Jaxson Hayes’ one-handed alley-oop dunk pulled the Pelicans to 83-73 heading to the fourth.
Heat: Tyler Herro his second straight with right knee soreness. … Adebayo has scored at least 20 in three straight and four of five. … Dewayne Dedmon scored 11 points. … Lowry’s triple-double was his second this season. … Made 10 of 32 3s (31.23 %), below its 37.8% average for the season coming in. … Made 24 of 28 free throws and outscored New Orleans 50-34 in the paint.
Pelicans: Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin said forward Larry Nance Jr., acquired Tuesday from Portland along with McCollum and Snell, is scheduled for surgery Friday to repair the meniscus on his right knee. Griffin says the procedure is likely to sideline Nance six weeks. … New Orleans’ 17 turnovers led to 22 Miami points.
Griffin said star power forward Zion Williamson’s rehabilitation from his offseason right foot fracture “continues to progress well, anecdotally.”
Williamson left the team more than a month ago to continue his rehabilitation in Portland, Oregon, where he was visited last weekend by Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon, Griffin said.
Langdon “was really encouraged” with Williamson’s progress, Griffin said, adding that Williamson could have more imaging done in about a week to see how the bone has healed.
However, Griffin could not project whether Williamson would return this season.
“We’re building this in such a way that we’re going to be sustainable and the fit is going to be very good, whether he comes back now or in the future,” Griffin said. “If it’s six weeks from now, it doesn’t matter. We’re in a situation where we can build in a positive way. But speaking about his situation and where it is, I can’t get into much detail about that.”
Heat: Host Brooklyn on Saturday night to open a two-game homestand.
Pelicans: Host San Antonio on Saturday night in the third of six straight home games.
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