MANILA, Philippines – LeBron James got the last laugh against Zion Williamson after powering the Los Angeles Lakers to a 122-114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, March 1 (Monday, March 2, Manila time).
James churned out 34 points, 13 assists, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals as the Lakers bounced back from a shock loss to the Memphis Grizzlies to tighten their hold of the top spot in the Western Conference at 46-13.
Rookie Williamson, who has drawn comparisons to James, finished with a career-high 35 points on a 12-of-16 shooting but his Pelicans just ran out of steam after being outscored 19-29 in the final quarter.
The Pelicans led 101-95 early in the 4th period before James – who picked up his 13th triple-double of the season – capped a 9-0 run with back-to-back buckets as the Lakers seized control and never looked back.
James was all praise for Williamson, who has scored at least 20 points in 11 consecutive games.
“The league is in great hands with guys like Zion, Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, and the list goes on and on,” James said.
“I’m just happy to be a part of and be on the floor with those guys in their younger days.”
Kyle Kuzma added 20 points for the Lakers, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 13 points, while Avery Bradley, Danny Green, and Markieff Morris each chimed in 10 points and combined for 9 rebounds in the win.
Lonzo Ball backstopped Williamson with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals as Brandon Ingram put up 15 points for the Pelicans, who sit at 9th place in the West with a 26-34 record.
The Pelicans are 3 games behind the Grizzlies (29-31) for the last playoff spot in the West. – Rappler.com