New York Knicks Guard Josh Hart (3) walks off the floor with a minor injury in the second half of an NBA Basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans Friday, Apr. 7, 2023 in New Orleans, La. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner –

A lot of interesting news came throughout the day, but for the first time since the 2017-18 season, the New Orleans Pelicans will have a winning season after beating the New York Knicks 113-105 to give them a 42-39 record with one game left. On Good Friday, April 7, 2023 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, La. the energy was electric from the start as Pelicans Shooting Guard Trey Murphy III lit up the scoreboard with 31 points, including three 3-pointers.

Although the game was tied through three periods, the Pelicans outscored the Knicks 30-22 in the final frame to pull away and position themselves for a playoff run.

“It’s a tremendous blessing to have a winning record as it’s hard to win in the NBA,” expressed New Orleans Pelicans second year coach Willie Green.  “We’re watching Trey grow up right in front of us.”

Despite shooting only 35% beyond the arc and allowing 12 turnovers, New Orleans stuck with six players who had at least 20 minutes and led the game in rebounds, assists, and blocked shots.  New Orleans finished 27-14 at home, its best home record since 2014-15 when it went 28-13.

RJ Barrett led New York with 28 points while Immanuel Quickley added 24, hitting six 3s, but the Knicks allowed the Pelicans to shoot 53.2 percent.  Pelicans players CJ McCollum finished with 23 points, Brandon Ingram had 18 points, and Herbert Jones’ perfect field goal performance was for 15 points.

The interesting news came before the game with New Orleans executive vice president David Griffin said Friday at the shootaround that Zion Williamson would not return at the earliest until a first-round playoff series, missing the last game of the regular season and any play-in games. Williamson has been out with a hamstring injury since Jan. 2.

The Pelicans (42-39) will need to beat Minnesota on the road in their regular-season finale Sunday and get some help from some combination of Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers to climb higher than the seventh seed.

New Orleans plays their final regular season in Minnesota on Easter Sunday at 2:30pm in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  New Orleans finished 27-14 at home, its best home record since 2014-15 when it went 28-13.