Tue, 31 Jan 2023

Zion Williamson's near triple-double leads Pelicans over Spurs

Field Level Media
03 Dec 2022, 13:40 GMT+10

Zion Williamson racked up 30 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists and keyed a decisive third quarter run as the visiting New Orleans Pelicans swamped the reeling San Antonio Spurs 117-99 on Friday.

The loss was the 10th straight for the Spurs, their longest losing streak since 1989 when they dropped 13 straight. San Antonio has not won since Nov. 11 and has one win in its past 16 games.

The Pelicans were down by three points at halftime and by 67-63 with 4:22 to play in the third quarter before Williamson scored nine straight points to give New Orleans the lead. San Antonio scored just four points over the final four-plus minutes, which ended with the Pelicans ahead 81-71 on strength of an 18-4 spurt.

Jonas Valanciunas added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, who have won three straight. Trey Murphy III had 17 points and Naji Marshall and Jose Alvarado hit for 15 each.

Devin Vassell led San Antonio with 25 points, with Keldon Johnson scoring 15, Charles Bassey adding 11 and Keita Bates-Diop and Romeo Langford tallying 10 apiece.

The Pelicans played without Brandon Ingram (left toe injury) while San Antonio was missing starters Jakob Poeltl (right knee) and Jeremy Sochan (right quad) and key reserves Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott (right ankle sprains).

The Pelicans led for all but two short stretches of the first quarter, going up 23-13 on Murphy's 3-pointer at the 3:39 before San Antonio rallied to take a 23-23 lead on Langford's jumper with 20.7 seconds left. Marshall's three-point play in the final second gave New Orleans a 26-24 edge after one period.

New Orleans led by 10 points on two different occasions in the second quarter before the Spurs found their stride, scoring the final nine points of the period capped by a 3-pointer by Vassell with 50.4 seconds remaining to sweep to a 52-49 advantage at the break,

Vassell's 16 points before halftime led all scorers while Johnson hit for 11 for San Antonio. Williamson paced the Pelicans with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the half, with Valanciunas scoring 11 points.

The third quarter had nine lead changes, the last when New Orleans rode nine straight points from Williamson to leapfrog to a 72-69 advantage at the 2:09 mark.

--Field Level Media

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