Tagged in: New Orleans Pelicans

Williamson’s pushes Pelicans past Blazers

Zion Williamson scored a season-high 31 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans used a dominant second half to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 138–117 Tuesday night.

”I expect to make an impact but I don’t expect to do nothing like this,” Williamson said in his usual, grinning, affable manner. ”I just kind of look to come in, just kind of fit in, just not try to mess up, but my teammates and coaches are always pushing me.”

‘I do hold myself to high expectations, but I think it’s just finding the line between reality and dreams,” Williamson added. ”If my teammates find me, they find me. If not, just got to make another play, get the rebound and just play defense.”

Playing 28 minutes in just his ninth NBA game, Williamson used his 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame, quick feet and explosive vertical to have his way with every defender Portland tried against him.

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Williamson was either too strong, too fast, or both. He mixed spinning dribbles and sudden baseline drives into his usual arsenal of soaring transition dunks and tenacious putbacks. Six of his nine rebounds came on the offensive end.

”I don’t really think he’s comparable to anyone that I have seen,” Portland forward Carmelo Anthony said of Williamson. ”Someone who is as powerful as that, who jumps like that … you can tell he’s getting better and getting a feel for the game.”

JJ Redick scored 20 points for New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 16 in the first quarter before taking command en route to a third consecutive triumph. Portland star Damian Lillard scored 20 points — less than half of his 42-point average over his previous 10 matches. 

Brandon Ingram was ruled for the game due to a sprained ankle.

The victory against Portland brings the Pelicans to 25–30, only three matches behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Jazz take 5 game win streak to New Orleans

The Utah Jazz are among the best defensive teams in the NBA.

But they have shown they can lean on their offense when they need to as they prepare to visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

When they hosted the Pelicans on Nov. 23, two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert was sidelined by a sprained ankle, so the Jazz scored a season-high in points in a 128-120 victory.

Donovan Mitchell had a season-high 37 in that game, and he had 32 in a 109-96 win versus Orlando on Saturday. After making eight 3-pointers through the first three quarters, they made the same number in the fourth quarter.

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“I told the team,” coach Quin Snyder said, “if the defense is solid, you give yourself a chance and eventually guys will get going.”

The guy most responsible for getting the offense going is point guard Mike Conley, but he has been sidelined by a hamstring injury. In his absence, Joe Ingles has been filling that role, helping the Jazz win five in a row and 10 of their past 11 matches.

“I think I’d rather have assists than points to be honest with you,” Ingles said. “I couldn’t care less about scoring. I feel like my role on the team is to get other guys involved.

“My only focus going in is defensively who I’m matched up on and trying to get all these guys easy shots. The more I can do to get them easy looks or easy shots, that’s what I’m out there to do.”

The Pelicans have won five of their last six matches after splitting a set of back-to-back games in California.

They lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 123-113 on Friday before getting a last-second 117-115 triumph against the Sacramento Kings the following night.

Rookie Zion Williamson participated in his first full practice before the Pelicans left for their brief road trip, though New Orleans has not set a date for his return from arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 21.

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New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings

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The New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings do battle tonight at the Sleep Train Arena.

The Pelicans have lost six of their last seven games and are currently on a four-game losing streak after losing to the Lakers by 95-91 last night. Tyreke Evans led the scoring with 21 points, Ryan Anderson had 15 points while Eric Gordon added 14 as the Pelicans lost their second straight game in the absence of Anthony Davis who sat out with discomfort in his back. Davis remains without a timetable for his return so his status for tonight is currently listed as questionable. New Orleans is now 11-26 on the season and 4-17 on the road.

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The Kings have won three of their last five games but are coming off a 128-116 loss to the Warriors. DeMarcus Cousins led the team with 33 points, Rudy Gay added 23 points while Darren Collison had 16 off the bench, but it still wasn’t enough for the Kings as the Warriors had Stephen Curry who poured in eight 3-pointers to scorch them for 38 points. Overall, it was still somewhat of a moral victory for the Kings as they matched it with the Warriors for a majority of the game, but they were never good enough defensively as the Warriors finished with 56 percent shooting from the field. With the loss, Sacramento drops to 15-22 on the season and 10-10 at home.

Pelicans probable starters

PG Tyreke Evans 6-6, 220 (16.4 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.5 steals SG Eric Gordon 6-4, 215 (15.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.9 spg) SF Dante Cunningham 6-8, 230 (4.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.4 spg) PF Anthony Davis 6-10, 253 (22.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 2.5 bpg) C Omer Asik 7-0, 255 (3.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.4 bpg).

Kings probable starters

PG  Rajon Rondo 6-1, 186 (11.7 points per game, 6.4 rebounds, 11.6 assists, 1.9 steals SG Ben McLemore 6-5, 195 (7.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.8 spg) SF Rudy Gay  6-8, 230 (18.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg) PF Quincy Acy  6-7, 240 (4.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.3 bpg) C DeMarcus Cousins 6-11, 270 (25.6 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.3 bpg).

Injury report

Pelicans: Forward Quincy Pondexter (knee) out for rest of season. Forward Anthony Davis (back contusion) questionable. Kings: Forward Omri Casspi (back soreness) doubtful. Guard James Anderson (hamstring strain) questionable. Forward Duje Dukan (tibia bone contusion) out.

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Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans

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The Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans square off Friday night at the Smoothie King Center.

The Washington Wizards are desperate for a victory after losing seven of their last 10 games. The Washington Wizards are averaging 101 points on 44.2 percent shooting and allowing 105 points on 46.3 percent shooting. Bradley Beal is averaging 19.8 points and 4.7 rebounds while John Wall is averaging 19.6 points and 8.3 assists. Otto Porter Jr. is grabbing 5.6 rebounds and Ramon Sessions is dishing 2.2 assists. The Washington Wizards are shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc and 75.7 percent from the free throw line. The Wizards are allowing 49.8 percent shooting in their last five games and have allowed 100-plus points in each game. The Washington Wizards have split their last 10 regular season road games. Drew Gooden is out and Kris Humphries is questionable.

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The New Orleans Pelicans need a big victory after losing five of their last six games. The New Orleans Pelicans are averaging 101.8 points on 44 percent shooting and allowing 109.1 points on 46.4 percent shooting. Anthony Davis is averaging 23.8 points and 10.7 rebounds while Ryan Anderson is averaging 18 points and seven rebounds. Eric Gordon is dishing 2.9 assists and Tyreke Evans is grabbing five rebounds. The New Orleans Pelicans are shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc and 78.6 percent from the free throw line. The Pelicans are as healthy as they’ve been all season and need to get on a roll now if this season is going to work. The New Orleans Pelicans have split their last eight home games. Kendrick Perkins is questionable.

The Wizards are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest and 11-26-1 ATS in their last 38 games following a ATS loss. The Pelicans are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 home games vs. a team with a winning road record and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Wizards are 8-0 ATS in the last 8 meetings in New Orleans and 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings overall.

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