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Brandon Ingram Lauded for 'Making the Leap' as Pelicans Even Series with Suns

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 25, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 24: Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles the ball during the game against the Phoenix Suns during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2022 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The No. 1 seed in the Western Conference is officially on alert in the first round.

Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans tied their matchup with the Phoenix Suns at two games apiece with a commanding 118-103 victory in Sunday's Game 4. The Duke product finished with 30 points, five assists and four rebounds in his third straight performance with 30 or more points.

Whether it was his monster slam in the third quarter or the overall smoothness to his game, Ingram drew the attention of plenty of fans and commentators with his performance:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

BRANDON INGRAM 🤯 <a href="https://t.co/mQ4tGIpEOs">pic.twitter.com/mQ4tGIpEOs</a>

Shea Serrano @SheaSerrano

brandon ingram making the leap &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;

SLAM @SLAMonline

We are witnessing the ascension of Brandon Ingram.

New Orleans Pelicans @PelicansNBA

BRANDON INGRAM WHAT

Robby Kalland @RKalland

i beg your pardon, brandon ingram??!!!

sreekar @sreekyshooter

Don't think even Chris Paul is saving them from this Brandon Ingram masterclass tonight

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet

Suns have absolutely no answer for Brandon Ingram right now. Craig is getting cooked

Tony Jefferson II @_tonyjefferson

Lakers gave up on Ingram too fast

claire de lune @ClaireMPLS

if phoenix can’t find an answer for brandon ingram this thing is going 7. which is pretty much a mileage nightmare for cp3 with a healthy luka prolly waiting in the next round ..

Yet a head-turning showing from Ingram wouldn't be enough on its own for the Pelicans to defeat this Suns team even with Devin Booker sidelined by an injury. Enter Jonas Valanciunas, who finished with 26 points, 15 rebounds and four assists while controlling the paint and providing New Orleans with an important source of secondary scoring.

Throw in the suffocating defense from rookies Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado, which helped hold Chris Paul to four points on 2-of-8 shooting, and the Pelicans are looking like a true threat instead of just a scrappy underdog.

Chris Herring @Herring_NBA

Man, this Pels team is fun as hell

Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball

HIS NAME IS JONAS<br><br>HE’S CARRYING THE PELS

NBA on TNT @NBAonTNT

Herb Jones comes FLYING in for the rejection ❌ <a href="https://t.co/b8VNqBNKWk">pic.twitter.com/b8VNqBNKWk</a>

NBA @NBA

Herb Jones is causing HAVOC on defense 🔒<br><br>PHX 85 | NOP 98<br>6:23 remaining in Q4<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAPlayoffs</a> presented by Google Pixel on TNT <a href="https://t.co/5PFbjh9bN7">pic.twitter.com/5PFbjh9bN7</a>

NBA @NBA

😤 Jose Alvarado forces the 8-second violation!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAPlayoffs</a> presented by Google Pixel on TNT <a href="https://t.co/cKFBJWqpSp">pic.twitter.com/cKFBJWqpSp</a>

Robby Kalland @RKalland

they should stop the game and present jose alvarado with some kind of award for forcing an 8 second violation on chris paul

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

LeBron. Steph. MJ. Magic. Shaq. Kobe. Russell. Wilt. Larry. And Jose Alvarado.

Shea Serrano @SheaSerrano

sign me up for the premium membership in the JOSE ALVARADO fan club i want the most expensive package

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons

Incredible game plan by New Orleans. They bugged/antagonized/annoyed/frustrated CP3 for 2 hours and he finally snapped. He’s been in the league since 2005! WE GOT A SERIES!!!!

The pressure will be squarely on the Suns as the series returns to Phoenix for Tuesday's Game 5.