HOUSTON — Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum each added 26 points and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Houston Rockets 117-107 on Sunday night.
McCollum had 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting in the first half as the Pelicans built a 64-44 halftime lead.
Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Trey Murphy III had 14 points and Herbert Jones scored 13 for the Pelicans, which shot 49%, including 13 of 31 on 3’s.
New Orleans closed the gap to a ½-game behind Utah for the final spot in the play-in tournament with 11 games left.
The Pelicans outscored Houston 52-34 in the paint.
Jalen Green scored 40 points, his fourth game scoring at least 40 points this season, Kevin Porter Jr. added 25 and Tari Eason had 10 points for Houston, which saw its season-high three-game winning streak snapped.
The Rockets shot 41% and were 9 of 33 on 3-pointers. Houston has the worst record in the West at 18-53.
New Orleans used an 18-6 spurt over the final minute of the first quarter and opening five minutes of the second quarter to open up a 51-34 lead on a 3-pointer by McCollum with 6:50 left in the first half. McCollum had nine points in the run.
Houston would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.
New Orleans: The Pelicans dished out 28 assists on 42 made field goals. … Valanciunas was whistled for three defensive 3-second violations.
Houston: The Rockets were 36 of 38 from the free-throw line. … Green and Porter combined to shoot 18 of 37 from the field, while the rest of the team was a combined 13 of 39 from the floor.
Pelicans: Host San Antonio on Tuesday.
Rockets: Host Golden State on Monday to close out its six-game homestand.