With fewer than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the New Orleans Pelicans were staring down a five-point deficit against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who held possession. Then, Anthony Edwards committed turnover and fouled Zion Williamson 10 seconds later. Williamson made both free throws, which kickstarted a personal 14-8 run to propel New Orleans to a 119-118 victory over Minnesota.
The fourth-year forward scored a career-high 43 points, including 33 in the second half and the last 14 of the game for the Pelicans. His final bucket gave New Orleans a 118-116 lead before Minnesota tied it up. His final point inched the Pelicans ahead for good, as Edwards misfired on his game-winning attempt shortly after. He drilled a long ball, lofted in a floater, scooped in a finish, converted around Rudy Gobert, and snagged a steal for a run-out jam. Every bucket occurred across an 100-second span. It ruled. He rules.
On a MISSION
— NBA (@NBA) December 29, 2022
The win was the Pelicans’ 22nd of the year. At 22-12, they’re currently half a game behind the Denver Nuggets for the West’s top seed. In his fourth season, Williamson is delivering on all of the hype that surrounded him pre-draft, and then some. He’s averaging 25.8 points (65.1 percent true shooting), seven rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.2 steals. He’s a lock for the All-Star Game, a surefire All-NBA contender and someone who might even end up receiving some MVP votes come springtime. Virtually every game he plays is must-watch television, and Wednesday’s dominance, particularly down the stretch, was exactly that.