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Sports

Zion dominant as Pelicans upset Jazz, Sixers bounce back

  • Pelicans prodigy Williamson finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to give New Orleans a deserved victory over the Western Conference-leading Jazz.
02 Mar 2021

LOS ANGELES: Zion Williamson produced a dominant performance as the New Orleans Pelicans upset the league-leading Utah Jazz with a 129-124 victory on Monday.

Pelicans prodigy Williamson finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to give New Orleans a deserved victory over the Western Conference-leading Jazz.

It was the sort of display from the 20-year-old Williamson that made him one of the most coveted young players in years when he was snapped up by New Orleans two years ago with the No.1 pick in the Draft.

Against Utah on Monday, the six-foot-seven-inches (two meters), 284-pound (129 kilograms) powerhouse used his physique and skill to barrel through the Jazz defence.

Utah had led by nine points in the second period but were left trailing by 17 early in the fourth quarter as the Pelicans cut loose.

Although Utah closed to within one point with 47 seconds remaining, two Williamson free throws restored the Pelicans' three-point cushion before Josh Hart added the coup de grace after Mike Conley missed for Utah.

Williamson's scoring tally was matched by Brandon Ingram, who also finished with 26 points, while four other Pelicans players cracked double digits.

Point guard Lonzo Ball added 23 points, while J.J. Redick had 17 off the bench including three of four three-pointers.

Utah's scoring was led by Bojan Bogdanovic, who finished with 31 points, while Rudy Gobert had 22 points and Donovan Mitchell 21.

The contest pivoted in the third quarter, when the Pelicans erupted for 40 points.

"We find ourselves in situations like this all the time," Williamson said afterwards. "It's a matter of want. And tonight we wanted it more.

"We came out with better energy in the third quarter and got the win."

The Pelicans improved to 15-19 and are now 11 in the Western Conference standings. Leaders Utah fell to 27-8 following the loss but remain three games clear of the second-placed Los Angeles Lakers.