It was sweet relief for the New Orleans Pelicans, as they held off the Denver Nuggets to secure an impressive 122-107 win at home.
Coming into the night with an 0-4 record, they will hope to kickstart their season after three of those losses came by single-digit margins.
Here are some takeaways from the game.
The Pelicans offence is thriving without Zion
Holding the sixth-ranked offence heading into the game, the Pelicans have shown they have the ability to put the ball in the basket.
Even without Zion Williamson, head coach Alvin Gentry has stressed the need for his young squad to push the pace and use their youth and athleticism to their advantage.
Against a Denver team expecting to compete for a top seed in the Western Conference, the Pelicans looked unstoppable at times, as Brandom Ingram (we will talk more about Ingram below), Jrue Holiday and the surprising Frank Jackson scored at will. New Orleans finished with four players in double-digit scoring, racking up 30 assists on their 41 made baskets.
The Pelicans dominated the fast break point count 37-20, following their coach's message and looking to break out in transition at every opportunity.
The fact that Williamson is still to be added to this talented young core is a potentially scary thought for the NBA.
Brandom Ingram is enjoying a new lease of life in New Orleans
No longer under the intense Los Angeles spotlight, Brandon Ingram is piecing together a terrific start to the 2019-20 season.
The 22-year-old had been on a tear offensively, averaging 27.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists coming into the night.
That hot form continued in this one, as he poured in 25 points and continuously challenged the Denver defence inside and out.
Brandon Ingram... INCOMING! 🔨#WontBowDown- NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2019
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/Z7eNTLfxr6
Ingram, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, looks right at home in New Orleans, and if Ingram is able to sustain this level of the play, the ascension of the Pelicans may occur quicker than we believed.
Michael Porter Jr. makes his NBA debut
It wasn't a great night for the Denver Nuggets across the board, though the long-awaited debut of Porter Jr. was a major positive on the night.
The Nuggets selected Porter Jr. with the 14th pick in the 2018 NBA draft, knowing full well there were some injury concerns with the athletic big man. Those injury concerns would linger throughout his first NBA campaign, with the now 21-year-old sitting out the entirety of what would have been his rookie season.
Porter Jr. would log 20:51 of court time in his debut, tallying 15 points and reeling in four rebounds.
Michael Porter Jr. gets to the bucket for his first NBA points! #MileHighBasketball- NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2019
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/ZBFDJBUDrr
Scoring his first NBA bucket on a tidy drive and finish on Pelican, Josh Hart, Porter Jr. would also flash his outside touch, knocking down a series of outside jumpers in the game.
The Nuggets may have lost on the scoreboard, but the talented Porter Jr. could potentially provide yet another wildcard in a deep Nuggets roster.