Zion Williamson may not have started the season on time, but he’s certainly making the most of it now.
Williamson scored 24 points while shooting 11-of-16 from the field in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 116-104 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Smoothie King Center, their sixth win in eight games.
The performance was historic, too. The 19-year-old became the first teenager in league history to drop 10 straight 20-point games. Carmelo Anthony held the previous record, hitting the 20-point mark in nine consecutive games at 19 when he was a rookie with the Denver Nuggets.
1️⃣0️⃣ straight games.
Just the beginning. pic.twitter.com/q5AHLiEulM
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 29, 2020
“He’s a very smart player,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “He goes out and just plays. He’s not trying to do anything. That’s just who he is. He’s just going to play hard, he’s going to play for the team, he’s going to play to win games. When you have those three things, obviously you’re going to have some success with a guy that has the ability that he has.”
Williamson hit the mark fairly easily, too, averaging 25.5 points over that 10-game stretch dating back before the All-Star break. He’s put up 26.5 points per game in the four games back while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field. Friday marked the former Duke standout’s 14th game in the league. He’s only failed to reach 20 points in a single game twice.
The Pelicans had little trouble getting past the Cavs on Friday night, too. Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 31 points and four rebounds while shooting 6-of-10 from behind the arc. Kevin Porter Jr. added 16 points off the bench, and Darius Garland put up 15.
Brandon Ingram led New Orleans with 19 points and seven assists. Jrue Holiday added 22 points.
“We finally started playing together,” said Lonzo Ball, who finished the night with five points and 12 assists, via the Times-Picayune. “The whole team is back now. The chemistry is getting better and better over every game. Guys know where other guys are going to be at.”
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