NBA: Zion makes triumphant return as Pelicans rip Clippers
LOS ANGELES – Zion Williamson made a triumphant return from a right hip injury Sunday with 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a 112-91 New Orleans NBA victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Pelicans improved to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 when Williamson, the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, is on the court.
Williamson played 31 minutes in his comeback game after he suffered the injury during a fall a week ago in a 122-121 overtime loss to Utah.
The 22-year-old American power forward was driving for a fast break layup when he was blocked by Jordan Clarkson and fell hard to the court.
“I’m fine,” Williamson said. “I’m still a little sore. I can’t lie to you because that was a hard fall. But I’m fine.”
Williamson’s injury history would be enough to make any Pelicans fan to worry about even the slightest setback.
A knee injury limited Williamson to 24 games in his rookie season. He averaged 27 points over 61 games oin the 2020-21 campaign but missed all of last season with a broken right foot.
So far this season, Williamson is averaging 21.8 points and 8.0 rebounds a contest for New Orleans, which imposed a fourth loss in a row upon the host Clippers.
C.J. McCollum scored 22 points to lead the Pelicans, whose 16-2 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth proved pivotal.
Slovenian guard Luka Doncic scored 44 points to power the Dallas Mavericks to a 114-105 home victory over Orlando. Doncic hit 17-of-26 from the floor, 2-of-9 from 3-point range, and 8-of-14 from the free throw line to spark the Mavs.
Donovan Mitchell scored 38 points and passed off 12 assists, both game highs, to spark the host Cleveland Cavaliers over New York 121-108. Kevin Love added 29 points off the bench as the Cavs improved to 5-1.
Stephen Curry scored a game-high 32 points and Jordan Poole added 30 for Golden State but the Detroit Pistons had five starters in double figures to defeat the reigning NBA champions 128-114.
Saddiq Bey led Detroit with 28 points while Isaiah Stewart had 24 points and 13 rebounds and Cade Cunningham contributed 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the home triumph.
It was only the second victory in seven games for the Pistons while the Warriors fell to 0-3 on the road.
Jaylen Brown scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Jayson Tatum and reserve Malcolm Brogdon each added 23 points to spark the Boston Celtics over visiting Washington 112-94. Latvian Kristaps Porzingis led the Wizards with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Keldon Johnson scored 25 points and Doug McDermott added 23 off the bench to lead San Antonio over visiting Minnesota 107-98. Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause.