Williamson wows home crowd, Pelicans beat Jazz 128-127
Zion Williamson wowed the home crowd with another impressive preseason performance, scoring 26 points and grabbing five rebounds in New Orleans’ 128-127 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
Javon Bess was credited with the game-winning layup in the final seconds after Utah’s Jarrell Brantley was called for goaltending.
Williamson scored five of the Pelicans’ first seven points, including his first 3-pointer of the preseason. He finished the first half with 10 points, but was even better after the break.
With Utah’s Rudy Gobert vigilantly defending the paint, fans had to wait until the third quarter to roar for Williamson’s first dunk on his new home court. It came after he missed a runner in the lane over Gobert, but raced to the left side of the rim to snag the rebound and throw it down with two hands.
Williamson asserted himself more while being guarded by Jazz reserves in the fourth quarter. He twice banked in double-clutch floaters while being fouled by Ed Davis. Williamson smiled and flexed his bicep after the second as the crowd came out of its seats.
Soon after, he sank a driving underhanded floater as he was fouled by William Howard and completed the three-point play to put the Pelicans up 109-106.
The No. 1 overall pick in June finished 9 of 12 from the field and 7 of 9 on free throws in 23 minutes.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 22 points for the Pelicans (3-0). Brandon Ingram scored 18 and Lonzo Ball had 15
Utah (1-2) was led by Jeff Green, who scored 20 points off the bench. Royce O’Neale added 16.
WIZARDS 115, KNICKS 99
Bradley Beal scored 21 points and Washington used a 20-0 run in the first half to turn around the game and split its preseason series with New York.
Moritz Wagner added 18 points and Thomas Bryant had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards (1-1). They trailed 30-15 in the first quarter, then surged to a 35-30 lead on Davis Bertans’ 3-pointer early in the second on their way to a 41-17 advantage in the second.
Marcus Morris scored 21 points for the Knicks (1-1), who beat the Wizards 104-99 on Monday in Washington. Rookie RJ Barrett had 15 points and Julius Randle added 14 points and eight rebounds.
Wizards first-round pick Rui Hachimura sat out to rest.
New York played without potential starters Dennis Smith Jr. (strained lower back) and Kevin Knox (strained right calf).
CELTICS 100, MAGIC 75
Jayson Tatum scored 15 points, Marcus Smart added 14 and the Celtics used a 35-11 first quarter to spoil Orlando’s first home game.
Boston (2-0) scored the first 11 points of the game and led 21-2 later in the quarter after holding the Magic to 1-of-14 shooting. Tatum and Smart each scored 12 points in the first half as the Celtics led by 28 points.
Terrence Ross led Orlando (3-1) with 21 points, including four of the Magic’s six 3-pointers.
PACERS 105, BULLS 87
T.J. Warren scored 17 points for his new team and Myles Turner, last season’s leader in blocked shots, had 14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks as Indiana cruised.
Domantas Sabonis was the only Indiana (3-0) starter not in double-figure scoring, but he had a game-high 14 rebounds with eight points. Malcolm Brogdon added 14 points.
Coby White was 10 of 22 from the field and scored 24 points for Chicago (0-3).
PISTONS 109, CAVALIERS 105
Andre Drummond had 15 points and eight rebounds and Detroit rallied late, taking its first lead since the final quarter at 104-103 with 1:08 left. Cleveland led 83-64 in the third quarter.
Bruce Brown, Derrick Rose and Reggie Jackson added 15 points each for Detroit (2-1).
Collin Sexton scored 24 points and made 3 of 5 from 3-point range for Cleveland (1-1). Tristan Thompson added 15 points and eight rebounds.
76ERS 100, HORNETS 87
Josh Richardson scored 18 points and Tobias Harris added 16 for Philadelphia.
Ben Simmons made 6 of 8 from the field and finished with 15 points, and Al Horford had 11 points and nine rebounds for the 76ers (2-0).
Dwayne Bacon led the Hornets (0-3) with 17 points. Charlotte never recovered after trailing 33-14 at the end of the first period.