Basketball: Kiwi Steven Adams victorious in season opener for New Orleans Pelicans

Kiwi Steven Adams has made a winning start to his New Orleans Pelicans career with a 113-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

The big center contributed eight points, eight rebounds and three assists in his 31 minutes on court. 

Adams looked comfortable out on court with his new teammates even pulling out the difficult euro-step trick move on his debut.

New Orleans Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy was impressed with Adams debut and feels the Kiwi is far more skilful than people give him credit for.

"Steven is way more skilled than people give him credit for," Van Gundy says.

Brandon Ingram had 24 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds as the visiting New Orleans Pelicans overcame an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors 113-99 Wednesday night (Thursday NZ time) in the season opener at Tampa, Florida.

Ingram just missed his first career triple-double in shooting 10-for-19 from the field.

The Raptors are playing their home games at Amalie Arena because of travel restrictions in Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

JJ Redick added 23 points and had six 3-pointers for the Pelicans. Eric Bledsoe scored 18 points, Lonzo Ball had 16 and Zion Williamson had 15 points and 10 rebounds. 

Pascal Siakam scored 20 points for the Raptors, who defeated the Pelicans on opening night last season. Kyle Lowry had 18 points and 10 assists for Toronto and Aron Baynes scored 11 points with nine rebounds while Chris Boucher and Norman Powell scored 12 points each.

The Pelicans used a 38-22 third quarter to take a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter. They led by 11 early in the fourth on Redick's 3-pointer.

Redick hit another 3-pointer with 5:16 to play in the game and New Orleans led by 14 points to clinch the game.

With Powell scoring seven points off the bench, the Raptors led 26-23 after the first quarter.

The Raptors led by 11 points on Siakam's 3-pointer with 1:36 left in the second quarter. Redick finished the first-half scoring with a 3-pointer and Toronto took a lead 57-50 lead into the intermission.

Lowry hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter in his 14-point first half.

The Raptors took an 11-point lead three minutes into the third quarter when Anunoby made an uncontested dunk on Ingram's errant pass.

The Pelicans answered with a 10-0 spurt capped by Bledsoe's 3-pointer, trimming the lead to one point. Ingram's 3-pointer gave New Orleans a 76-73 lead.

The Pelicans stretched the lead to 88-79 when Ingram made a 3-pointer to end the third quarter.