Minutes restriction did not matter for Zion Williamson on Wednesday as the No. 1 overall pick made his NBA debut for the New Pelicans in a 121-117 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday night, inside the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
With the Pelicans down 99-94 with 8:52 left in the fourth quarter, Williamson gave the fans a glimpse of what the future holds for the Big Easy.
He scored 17 of his 22 points in the final period and his hot streak gave New Orleans a 107-106 lead midway through the quarter. In addition to his point total, Williamson recorded seven rebounds and three assists in the loss.
“Like I said, it was going to be a learning experience either way.,” head coach Alvin Gentry said on Williamson’s fourth-quarter explosion. “To start the game, he wasn’t going 100 miles an hour trying to get that first bucket and get that monkey off his back. He went out there and made the right plays and played well defensively. He rebounded the ball and did a great job.”
Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday, who finished with 12 points say after the loss he was “hyped” watching Williamson drain 3-pointer after 3-pointer.
“It was good to get back out there, obviously, but I didn’t have the outcome that I wanted. Williamson said. “So I have to get better and move on to the next.”
In the win, LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points, 14 rebounds and 2 blocks to pace the Spurs, seemingly an afterthought on Williamson’s night. DeMar DeRozan added 20 points and five rebounds, and the Spurs finished with five players in double figures.
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