NEW ORLEANS – Zion Williamson scored 32 points in her first game, named All-Star for the first time, and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Detroit Pistons 128–118 on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t know I was going to feel different, to be honest, because everyone is asking that,” Williamson said of how All-Star recognition affected his mindset on the court. If you know me, my goal is to go there and try to win every game. Is this going to happen? Probably not, but I just want to go there and win and have fun with my teammates and enjoy every moment. ”
Williamson had many attractions to enjoy against Detroit.
There were several quick, dribbling spin moves to exclude many convergent defenders in the paint before ending up near the rim with floaters or layouts. There were also one-handed jerks down the lane or along the baseline. One of his climaxes showed his throw as the alley-top lobe of Lonzo Ball.
Williamson took 13 of his 18 shots to reach the 30-point limit for the eighth time this season.
“He’s a generational talent where you don’t know what you’re going to get from him every night; This is going to be something different. This is going to be something exciting, ”the Pelicans put forward Brandon Ingram, who scored 27 points to go along with eight assassins and seven rebels.
Pelican center Steven Adams compared Williamson to an “obviously super-talented, super-skilled player”, saying, “There is a much bigger goal than the All-Star Game, right?” This is a good move for him, but I think he is not finished. “
Adams scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in his first action, missing a right ankle in two games. His putback left the Pelicans 2–15.
They fell behind in the first three quarters after the Pelicans ‘strong finish before thwarting the Pistons’ bid to win two road games on consecutive nights.
Josh Jackson added 25, and Mason Plumley added 21 points for Detroit, leading to nine points in the first half and nine in the third quarter. Saban Lee and Saddique Bay scored 13 points.
“We couldn’t buy the shot at the right time, but I was happy with my point of view,” said Pistons coach Dwayne Casey. “For whatever reason, we ran out of gas down the stretch.”
The Pistons looked sharp, combining for nine 3s and shooting 53.1% overall (26 of 49) in a season-best 69 first half point scoring.
Detroit got 36 first-half points from the reserves, including nine from Jackson’s 10 and three from Sevi Mykhaliuk.
Jackson’s floater as the Pistons led by 10 made it 43-33.
Williamson scored on a dribble drive in the final seconds of the quarter to make it 69-64 before Detroit was delayed seven seconds late.