Basketball / NBA

Lonzo Ball's touch from deep lifts Pelicans

AP

Lonzo Ball pulled up decisively from the left wing to sink his career-high seventh 3-pointer in a single game, then glided back toward the Pelicans’ defensive end, slapping the extended hand of head coach Alvin Gentry as a thunderous roar filled the Smoothie King Center.

Showing increasing confidence in his modified shooting stroke, Ball scored a season-high 27 points and New Orleans beat the undermanned Houston Rockets 127-112 on Sunday night for their fourth straight victory.

“I knew it was not going to happen overnight. This is a new shot for me,” said Ball, who had a slow start to the season but made 11 3s combined in a pair of games over the weekend. “Hopefully it can get consistent over time.”

E’Twaun Moore hit five 3s and scored a season-high 25 points in a reserve role for New Orleans, which trailed by nine early in the fourth quarter before suddenly seizing complete control against a Houston squad without its three most productive players: James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela.

Brandon Ingram scored 27 and Jrue Holiday 25 for the Pelicans, who’ll enter the new year having won five of six games as they await the debut of No. 1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson. Derek Favors had 12 points and 17 rebounds.

In Other Games

Thunder 98, Raptors 97

Grizzlies 117, Hornets 104

Nuggets 120, Kings 115

Lakers 108, Mavericks 95