- The New Orleans Pelicans played the Phoenix Suns on Sunday in the NBA after their Friday clash
- The game was sent into overtime after Suns guard Chris Paul hit a bucket with 2.8 left to play
- The Pelicans won the match to maintain their top spot in the Western Conference
After their game on Friday night, the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans left all to play. However, Sunday’s game required more time to determine.
With 2.8 seconds left in regulation, Suns player Chris Paul made a basket to force overtime, but the Pelicans won in the extra session to claim a 129-124 victory and keep possession of the first place in the Western Conference.
Being at the top of the West even in early December, according to Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, who tied his season high with 35 points, was significant.
“We’re No. 1 in the West right now,” Williamson said. “I know to a lot of people that’s not a big deal because it’s still early in the season, but for us to have that ranking right now, that’s big. We want to not only hold on to it but build on it.”
After Paul’s score, Williamson had a chance to win the game in regulation, but his shot didn’t connect before the final buzzer. Each side was attempting to get its first victory in overtime this year. Prior to Sunday, the Pelicans had lost all three of their games that went into overtime, while the Suns had only lost one previous game—against Portland in the first week of the season.
To start the overtime round, Williamson made a basket. The Suns countered with a 3-pointer by Torrey Craig to grab a momentary lead, but the Pelicans answered with a 9-0 run to take control. With 2:52 left, Williamson was whistled for a foul on Paul when the Suns guard was attempting a 3-pointer, virtually ending the run.
Willie Green, the Pelicans’ head coach, turned to face his bench and quickly disputed the ruling, claiming that Paul had pushed his leg out as Williamson was speeding by. Officials reversed it to an intentional foul following a review, awarding Paul his sixth.
When Paul fouled out, Phoenix was left without its essential components. With 36.4 seconds left in regulation, Deandre Ayton fouled out while blocking a Williamson shot, and Devin Booker was unable to play due to a strained left hamstring.
The Pelicans, who have risen to the top of the Western Conference, where Phoenix once competed, have already won seven straight games. The Saints increased their record to 18-8, while the Suns (16-11) suffered their fourth straight defeat.
It won’t be long before the Pelicans see the Suns again. After playing the Utah Jazz twice in Salt Lake City this week, New Orleans heads to Phoenix on Saturday to finish the season series. On October 29, New Orleans was defeated 124-111 in Phoenix by the Suns.
Williamson and Brandon Ingram were absent from the match. Both of the previous two games were missed by Ingram (left big toe contusion) and forward Herb Jones (left ankle injury).
Green expressed his “great optimism” that Ingram and Jones would be able to make a comeback during the next road trip before Sunday’s game.