Pelicans summer league opener, Zion’s debut cut short by earthquake

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Zion Williamson’s summer league debut was shaky but not in a basketball sense. The game between the New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks in Las Vegas became an afterthought when the effects of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in California shook the Thomas & Mack Center in the fourth quarter Friday night.

The Pelicans led 80-74 with 7:53 left in regulation when the game was stopped while the arena shook.

No one was injured at the game but the decision to postpone all remaining scheduled games Friday in Thomas & Mack and next door at the Cox Pavilion came about 30 minutes after the quake. The Pelicans were declared winners over the Knicks when the NBA decided not to complete the game.

 

Williamson, the top overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft, scored 11 points in the first half on 4-for-9 shooting from the floor and 3-for-6 from the foul line. The Duke product also had three rebounds and a steal that resulted in a thunderous dunk that thrilled the sellout crowd of over 17,000 fans.

Williamson did not play in the second half due to what the Pelicans reported as knee-to-knee contact. He sat on the bench with his left knee wrapped in ice as a precautionary measure.

However, the star performer of the night for New Orleans was another Duke product, guard Frank Jackson, who scored 30 points on 11-for-17 from the floor and 5-for-9 from three-point range.

Former LSU forward Kavell Bigby-Williams shined for the Pels with a double-double, racking up 12 points and 10 rebounds in just 12 minutes. He was 5-for-6 from the floor and had a pair of blocked shots.

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