Pelicans Reaction: Jokic outduels Williamson as Nuggets hold off Pelicans

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Jacob Rude
·2 min read
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Another close game, another collapse by the Pelicans on Friday as Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets outlasted the Pelicans and Zion Williamson, 113-108.

Jokic and Zion Williamson went toe-to-toe in a shootout that saw the Denver big man get the last laugh. Jokic finished with 37 points, nine assists and six rebounds, outdueling Williamson’s 39 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

The two went shot for shot down the stretch in the fourth with Jokic and the Nuggets doing just enough to outlast a Pelicans team that shot 50% from the field on the night. New Orleans led by 14 points in the second quarter but could not hold off Denver for their second win over the Nuggets in a week.

Eric Bledsoe had 16 points, Brandon Ingram 13 and Nickeil Alexander-Walker 14 in the loss.

The Good: Zion Williamson

Williamson could not be stopped on Friday. The Nuggets tried to build a wall in front of him and he simply floated around them. In the fourth quarter, the Pelicans repeatedly fed him the ball and he repeatedly got to the rim to score. Ultimately, they couldn't get him the ball enough - the story of the Pelicans season in clutch moments - and couldn't come away with the win. However, his astounding stat line of 39 points (16/19 FG), 10 rebounds and five assists should not feel as remotely normal as it does.

The Bad: The final two minutes

Williamson hit a layup with 2:08 left to go ahead 108-107 in the fourth quarter. The Pelicans did not score again after that the rest of the night. Alexander-Walker missed an open corner 3-pointer on the next possession and, after an offensive rebound by Steven Adams, Ingram missed a driving, contorting layup. Ingram missed a 3-pointer to tie the game on the next possession, Alexander-Walker had a 3-pointer blocked after a mess of a possession with 14 seconds left and then the possession with the game on the line ended with a shot clock violation after Alexander-Walker and Ingram failed to get a shot up. Over the final 6:55, Williamson had eight points and the rest of the Pelicans had 0.

Lonzo Ball: Inactive again

Lonzo Ball missed his third straight game on Friday with a right hip flexor strain. He is also next expected to play on Saturday against Dallas.

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