Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson keep Pelicans abounding in 115-101 success

  • 24-February-2020

Zion Williamson has been a predominant force on the court for New Orleans since making his NBA debut a month back. Against Golden State, the proclaimed rookie made his greatest effect in the locker room with a halftime speech that gave the Pelicans the lift they required.

Williamson had 28 points and seven bounce back, Jrue Holiday scored 11 of his 23 points in the final quarter and New Orleans pulled away late to beat the Golden State Warriors 115-101 on Sunday.

In the Pelicans locker room subsequently, the topic of discussion based on Williamson's halftime motivational speech.

''It was one of those things where I just said, 'Yo, we have to play with more energy. We're much better than this,''' Williamson said. ''When it comes down to it, if I say something then it means I'm into the game and something isn't right., We got the win and that's the most important part.''

Williamson did what's needed on the court to enable New Orleans to snap a three-game street losing streak to Golden State.

It's Williamson's eighth back to back game with at least 20 points, the longest stretch by a rookie in the NBA this season. He was 13 of 20 and made his initial 3-pointer since his NBA debut on Jan. 22.

Furthermore, in the brief timeframe since, he's as of now become a significant voice in the team.

''He isn't your typical 19-year-old,'' Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ''He's a very mature kid, very respectful of his teammates and they are very respectful of him as well. He is all about winning. Just winning.''

Nicolo Melli coordinated his career-high with 20 points and six 3-pointers, and Brandon Ingram had 17 points and five assists.

Damion Lee scored 22 points to lead five Golden State players in double figures. Jordan Poole included 19.

The Pelicans won for the fifth time in six games after dominating the last 12 minutes. New Orleans had six 3s and two dunks in the final quarter while outscoring Golden State 38-24.

Holiday led the late flood and got a lot of help. Melli made three 3s and Williamson included a loud alley-oop dunk.

Williamson got looking strong so far with a couple of alley-oop dunks and a 3-pointer in the primary quarter. The No. 1 generally pick scored nine of the Pelicans' initial 13 points and got a major block from behind on Warriors center Eric Paschall under the basket.

''He's explosive, strong and he knows how to play,'' Golden State coach Steve Kerr said of Williamson. ''He's a great, young player without much experience at all. He's only going to get better.''

Lee was similarly as solid for Golden State, making seven of his initial nine shots to push the Warriors to a 10-point halftime lead.

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