LONZO Ball made a career-high eight three-pointers to pace a balanced scoring attack as the New Orleans Pelicans fended off the host Houston Rockets (122-115) on Sunday.
Ball, who missed the previous seven games with a hip injury, paired 27 points with nine assists to lead the Pelicans — who were without forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Six of his teammates also scored in double figures.
Also victorious were the Atlanta Hawks, who beat the Golden State Warriors (117-111).
After Houston matched its largest lead of the game at 102-97 following a series of dazzling dunks from rookie Kenyon Martin, Jr., the Pelicans responded with a 10-2 run to reclaim the lead.
Down the stretch, multiple hands played a role in keeping the Rockets at bay, with Wes Iwundu and Naji Marshall drilling timely three-pointers while Willy Hernangomez converted in the paint.
Hernangomez had 15 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Eric Bledsoe scored 19 points, James Johnson gained 18, and Stephen Adams and Marshall scored 12 apiece for the Pelicans.
Kelly Olynyk led the Rockets with 26 points. Jae’Sean Tate added 19 points and Christian Wood finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Sterling Brown and Kevin Porter, Jr. scored 12 apiece for Houston, but Porter, whose buzzer-beating three-pointer to close the half ignited a third-quarter surge, recorded eight turnovers and missed 10 of 15 shot attempts.
Meanwhile, Danilo Gallinari and Clint Capela combined for 49 points and 28 rebounds and the Hawks defeated the visiting Warriors (117-111) for their third straight win.
Gallinari, playing with an ailing left Achilles, had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Capela had 24 points, 18 rebounds and two blocked shots to help the Hawks sweep the two-game season series against Golden State for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Golden State lost despite a 37-point effort from Steph Curry, who returned after missing the last game with a tailbone contusion. Curry went to the locker room at the third-quarter break and did not reenter the game until 6:15 remaining. He was only 3-for-12 on 3-point attempts.
Golden State has lost three in a row and dropped seven of its past eight games. — Reuters