NBA regular season

Zion Williamson’s career night propels Pelicans

Zion Williamson’s career night propels Pelicans

UNSTOPPABLE. Pelicans forward Zion Williamson looks to get past the defense of Timberwolves Austin Rivers (left) and Jaden McDaniels.

Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Pelicans star Zion Williamson returns with a bang, erupting for 43 points against the Timberwolves after a three-game absence due to health and safety protocols

Zion Williamson unloaded 14 of his career-high 43 points in the fourth quarter as the host New Orleans Pelicans came from behind to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 119-118, on Wednesday night. December 28 (Thursday, December 29, Manila time).

The Timberwolves led by 5 points before Williamson took over, scoring his team’s final 14 points of the game. His three-pointer and hook shot on back-to-back possessions tied the score at 112-112 with 1:49 left.

Minnesota’s Jaylen Nowell broke the tie with a jumper, but Williamson answered with a layup.

The Wolves’ Jaden McDaniels made two free throws, but Williamson had a layup and a steal and a dunk to give New Orleans a 118-116 lead with 39.1 seconds left.

Anthony Edwards tied it with a dunk before Williamson was fouled and made one of two free throws to give the Pelicans a 119-118 lead with four seconds left. Edwards missed a baseline jumper as time expired.

Williamson made 14-of-21 field goals and 14-of-19 free throws in his return from a three-game absence due to health and safety protocols. 

Trey Murphy III added 21 points, CJ McCollum scored 20, Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Naji Marshall scored 12 points as New Orleans won its fourth straight.

Edwards and D’Angelo Russell each scored 27 points, McDaniels added 19, Nowell scored 14, Naz Reid had 13, and Rudy Gobert 10 before fouling out as Minnesota lost its fourth straight.

The Pelicans trailed 55-49 at halftime, but closed within one point on Marshall’s three-point play early in the third quarter.

Russell scored 13 points in the third as the Wolves expanded the lead to 81-71.

New Orleans closed within 4 on Murphy’s three-pointer before Minnesota twice increased the lead to 7 points.

Murphy made another triple to get the Pelicans within 88-86 at the end of the third quarter.

McCollum scored the first 5 points of the fourth quarter to give New Orleans a 91-88 lead.

The lead changed hands seven times before McDaniels scored on a drive and made a three-pointer to give the Wolves a 104-100 lead midway through the quarter.

Then Williamson took over. –

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