MIAMI, Nov 17 — Rookie Kendrick Nunn scored 22 points as the Miami Heat stayed undefeated at home by beating the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans 109-94 last night.
Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 14 rebounds, Jimmy Butler had 16 points and 13 assists, Duncan Robinson scored 15 points, Kelly Olynyk had 13 points and Tyler Herro 12 as the Heat won for the fifth time in as many home games.
Rookie Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the Pelicans, who have just three wins this season but defeated the Clippers in their last game Thursday night, with 27 points. E’Twaun Moore added 18 points, Jrue Holiday had 14 points, rookie Jaxson Hayes 12 and Nicolo Melli 10.
The Pelicans stayed in the game until midway through the fourth quarter primarily by making 3-pointers, finishing with 16. But the Heat enjoyed a 46-31 rebounding advantage.
New Orleans, beginning a set of back-to back games that ends with a home game against Golden State today, played without five of their top seven scorers, including leading scorer Brandon Ingram and third-leading scorer JJ Redick, because of injury.
The Heat led by five points at halftime, but the Pelicans pulled even at 61 on two free throws by Moore midway through the third quarter.
But Butler scored five points during a 9-0 run that gave Miami some breathing room.
Alexander-Walker’s basket stopped the run, but Robinson’s 3-pointer helped the Heat take a 78-65 lead after three quarters.
New Orleans made five 3-pointers as it trimmed the deficit to 88-83 early in the fourth quarter.
Olynyk’s 3-pointer completed a 10-point run that pushed the Heat’s advantage to 15 with less than five minutes remaining.
Nunn scored nine points and Chris Silva had the final six as the Heat took a 29-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Alexander-Walker came off the bench to give the Pelicans offense a second-quarter lift, scoring nine points as New Orleans trimmed the deficit to 54-49 at halftime. — Reuters