New Orleans (25-16), which had lost four of five, took the lead early in the second quarter and put the game away when it scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter to take a 115-88 lead with 8:44 to play.
Washington (17-24) has lost three straight and was missing leading scorer Bradley Beal, who didn’t play for the fifth time in six games with a strained left hamstring.
Kristaps Porzingis led the Wizards with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Kyle Kuzma scored 19 points before fouling out with 9:03 to play. In the second quarter, he was assessed a technical foul, and when Kuzma was called for his sixth foul, he marched off the court and walked into Washington’s locker room.
New Orleans was without its leading scorer, Zion Williamson, who missed his fourth straight game with a strained right hamstring.
The Pelicans, who fell behind 10-0 in the first two minutes, took a timeout just 1:44 into the game, and quickly caught up thanks to McCollum, who scored 12 straight points in a 2:36 span of the first quarter.
Pelicans: F Brandon Ingram, who hasn’t played since Nov. 25 due to a bruised left toe, is closer to a return to action, but needs more work, according to coach Willie Green. “He hasn’t had a full practice yet. We’re hopeful that sometime on this trip, he can get a full practice in.” … G/F Herb Jones suffered a bruised lower back in the second quarter and didn’t return. … Broke a nine-game losing streak in Washington. ... F Naji Marshall scored 18 points
Wizards: G Johnny Davis, who has spent much of the season on assignment with the G League, is out with a strained right hip. Coach Wes Unseld Jr. thinks he could return within the next week.
Pelicans: At Boston on Wednesday.
Wizards: Host Chicago on Wednesday.
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Rich Dubroff, The Associated Press