Zion shows off skills as Pelicans thump Spurs

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It has been frustrating. Zion Williamson has simply had bad luck, missing far too many games since becoming a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.

When Williamson plays and plays to his ability, it is fun to watch.

Williamson was at the top of his game Wednesday night, playing well in all phases and dominating in leading the Pelicans to a 129-110 victory at San Antonio.

Williamson finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds in just 27 minutes. Williamson was brilliant, making 14 of 18 field goal attempts and he was simply unstoppable.

New Orleans was without starting point guard CJ McCollum, who was out with an illness, and without Trey Murphy III.

Jose Alvarado got the start in place of McCollum.

The Pelicans settled the issue early, jumping out to a 9-0 lead to start the game as Jonas Valaciunas scored the first seven points of the game.

New Orleans defended well early. San Antonio scored its first point with 8:10 to play in the opening quarter.

Doug McDermott came off the bench to spark the Spurs with 11 points in six minutes to pull within 10 at 29-19 by the end of the quarter.

Larry Nance took a hard elbow to the nose and had to leave the game. Fortunately, he was able to return. Willie Green got a technical foul protesting no call against Nance getting bloodied, standing up for his player.

Williamson came out with a burst of energy from the start, looking fresh and hungry. Productivity followed and how!

Williamson scored 17 points, pulled down seven rebounds, had two steals and a block in the half.

Valanciunas was terrific, sinking all seven of his field goal attempts, including a trio of 3-pointers and scored 17 points with four rebounds.

Devonte Graham picked up where he left off against Golden State, coming off the bench on fire. Graham scored 18 points in 17 minutes, sinking 5 of 8 from 3-point range and New Orleans took a 66-47 lead by halftime.

The Pelicans shot 60 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point rage.

The 66 points in the half matched the highest total in the first half this season for New Orleans.

San Antonio concentrated on getting the ball out of Brandon Ingram’s hands in the first half and it worked as Ingram scored just two points. Of course, everyone else picked him up.

Ingram came alive in the third quarter, scoring 15 points in a quarter that turned out to be a shootout. The defense, so good in the first half for New Orleans, was lacking, the Spurs got hot and scored at will, putting up 38 points in the period.

Fortunately, the Pelicans matched that total, led by Ingram and Williamson, who put on a show with 13 points in the quarter and New Orleans carried a 104-85 lead into the final quarter.

Willie Green went to the bench with 5:14 to play, pulling all of his starters with a 118-95 lead.

New Orleans is one of the highest scoring teams in the league and that was on full display again tonight.

The Pelicans shot 56 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range. New Orleans shared the ball quite well with 33 assists on 47 made field goals. The Pelicans won the battle of the boards 42-37.

Valanciunas had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Graham finished with 21 points and four rebounds. Ingram had 17 points and 10 assists and Alvarado finished with nine assists.

The only negative was 21 turnovers, a losing figure on most nights but not on this night.

It was the fifth 30 point, 10 rebound game in Williamson’s young career.

The Spurs (6-13) have lost six straight games.

It was the second straight blowout win for the Pelicans.

Now 11-7, the Pelicans head up to Memphis to battle the Grizzlies on Friday night. Ingram played 32 minutes while Williamson played just 27 minutes to New Orleans should be fresh against the Grizzlies and hope to get McCollum and Murphy back.

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Ken Trahan

CEO/Owner

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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