Zion Williamson scores 28, closes out Pelicans' 107-100 win over the Bucks

Thu, Mar 28, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Zion Williamson scores 28, closes out Pelicans' 107-100 win over the Bucks

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Zion Williamson scored 28 points, CJ McCollum added 25 and the New Orleans Pelicans held off the Milwaukee Bucks 107-100 on Thursday night.

Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, giving him his 32nd double-double of the season, but just his first in 11 games. Trey Murphy III had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, who won despite going just 8 of 32 on 3-pointers and shooting just 39.6% (36 of 91) overall.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and 14 rebounds for Milwaukee. Damian Lillard scored 20 points for the Bucks, as did Malik Beasley, who hit six 3s.

Milwaukee lost its second straight after falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime in its previous game.

The Pelicans led for most of the game and by as many as 18 in the first half. But when Lillard hit a 3 with just more than five minutes left, New Orleans' lead was down to five - much like on Tuesday night, when the Pelicans lost a five-point lead in the last three minutes to Oklahoma City.

This time, Williamson, who did not have a shot in the final minutes of Tuesday's loss, continued to attack the basket and get to the foul line. He made five of six free throws to help the Pelicans close it out.

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New Orleans outscored Milwaukee 52-44 in the paint and the Pelicans went 27 of 34 from on free throws. Milwaukee attempted 19 free throws, hitting 10.

New Orleans led by as many as 18 in the first half when McCollum converted a three-point play on a 7-foot runner as he was fouled, capping a 14-2 run that made it 52-34.

Valanciunas and Herb Jones each hit 3s during the spurt, which began with McCollum's floater off the glass as he was fouled by Lillard.

Antetokounmpo scored 12 of his points in the opening half, including an alley-oop layup that made it made it 59-45 before Larry Nance Jr.'s floater at the horn gave New Orleans a 61-45 halftime lead.


Suns: Visit Atlanta on Saturday night.

Pelicans: Host Boston on Saturday night.


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