NBA: Williamson, Pelicans roll over Cavaliers


Posted at Feb 29 2020 01:43 PM

NBA: Williamson, Pelicans roll over Cavaliers 1
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) controls the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers center Ante Zizic (41) in the second quarter of their game at the Smoothie King Center. Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Rookie Zion Williamson scored 24 points for his 10th consecutive game with at least 20, as the host New Orleans Pelicans routed the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 116-104 on Friday night.

Brandon Ingram scored 29, Jrue Holiday added 22 and E'Twaun Moore and Nicolo Melli had 10 each, as the Pelicans improved to 3-1 since the All-Star break. 

It was their first home game in 15 days and started a three-game home-stand over five days.

Derrick Favors had 15 rebounds, and Lonzo Ball had 12 assists for New Orleans, which has won six of eight games as it pursues Memphis for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Pelicans guard JJ Redick left the game in the first quarter because of a left hamstring strain and did not return.

Collin Sexton tied his career-high with 31 points to lead the Cavaliers, who are just 17-42 but entered the game with a 3-1 record under coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who took over when John Beilein resigned during the All-Star break.

Kevin Porter Jr. scored 16, Darius Garland had 15, Tristan Thompson had 13 and Kevin Love 10.

New Orleans, which beat the Cavaliers 125-111 on Jan. 28 in Cleveland, swept the season series by winning its ninth straight home game against the Cavs.

The Pelicans led by 15 at halftime, and Ingram scored 11 points as they increased the lead to 93-70 midway through the third quarter.

Sexton made three 3-pointers during a 13-2 run that pulled Cleveland within 95-83 at the end of the third quarter.

But Moore made a 3-pointer, and Williamson followed with a basket to start the fourth-quarter scoring, as the Pelicans regained command with a 17-point lead. The Cavs didn't get closer than 15 until the final two minutes.

The Pelicans set a franchise record for assists in a quarter with 15 in the first. They made 18 of 24 field-goal attempts and scored a season-high in first-quarter points by taking a 43-25 lead.

Sexton scored nine of his 19 first-half points as the Cavaliers outscored New Orleans in the second quarter, but the Pelicans still held a 70-55 halftime edge.

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