NEW ORLEANS (AP) Pelicans coach Willie Green sounds gratified by the way his surging New Orleans squad seems to be building chemistry and momentum. Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn wants the Nets to summon the kind of hustle that shows they actually care about winning.

CJ McCollum scored 16 points, Herb Jones added 14 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans routed the Brooklyn Nets 112-85 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory and eighth in 11 games.

“I’m definitely seeing us coming out and having more of a sense of urgency across the board,” Green said. “Tonight was another step in the right direction.”

Jose Alvarado scored 13 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which opened the game on a 9-0 run, never trailed and led by as many as 32 points.

“It's a growing point. We took this game very seriously and we tried to attack it,” Alvarado said. “We didn't look past this game because we know winning in the NBA is tough.”

It was the fewest points the Nets have scored this season and fewest the Pelicans have allowed.

The Nets shot a season-worst 35.7% (35 for 98) while losing their fourth straight.

“It really is like a boxing match: When you get hit, how are you going to respond?" Vaughn said. "We can’t think that making shots is the response.

“If you’re really desperate about winning, then you’ll dive on the floor, and you’ll do it all and you’ll get cuts and bruises and you’ll go home sore,” Vaugh continued. "We’re not there yet. It’s just as simple as that.”

Brooklyn’s Cam Thomas, a former LSU standout who entered the game averaging a team-leading 22.4 points per game, missed all 11 of his shots and did not score in front of a crowd likely comprised of many of his college fans.

“We put him in some bad positions, grenade after grenade, late shot clock after late shot clock,” said Nets forward Cameron Johnson, who led Brooklyn with 17 points. "I'm not going to put anything on him. We put him in bad positions.

“It's a collective thing. His 0 for 11 should go to the team in a sense, where he just had the ball with 3 seconds left (on he shot clock) and had to force up a shot,” Johnson added. “It's tough to re-establish a rhythm when you have so many of those.”

Thomas, Spencer Dinwiddie (0 for 6) and Royce O'Neale combined to go 0 for 23. Brooklyn attempted 43 3-pointers, missing 32.

“Sometimes you just got to make things happen instead of kind of just playing along and hoping,” Johnson said, calling this moment in the season “a gut check.”

Mikal Bridges added 13 points and Day'Ron Sharpe 12.

Brandon Ingram had 12 points and Zion Williamson 10 for the Pelicans, who did not have any player on the court for more than 25 minutes. The Pelicans got 13 players into the game and 12 of them scored.

New Orleans, which shot 50% from 3-point rage in a 20-point victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night, hit 10 of 20 3s in Tuesday's first half while racing to a 27-point lead.

Poor shooting made it tough for the Nets to keep pace. They shot 28.3% (13 of 46) in the opening 24 minutes, including 6 of 22 from 3-point range.

New Orleans closed out the first half on a 10-2 run during which Jones scored six straight points on a foul shot, a long jumper and a 3 to make it 59-34.


Nets: At Houston on Wednesday night.

Pelicans: At Minnesota on Wednesday night.



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