LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zion Williamson had 21 points and 12 rebounds in his return, and the New Orleans Pelicans pulled away in the second half to rout the Los Angeles Clippers 112-91 on Sunday.
CJ McCollum added 22 points for the Pelicans, who’ve won four of their first six games. Williamson was out the last two games with a right hip and lower back contusion, one of three starters to have missed the last two games.
“Still a little sore, man,” Williamson said. “I’ve taken a lot of falls, but I ain’t never had a fall like that one. But it was fine enough for me to play. Unless I’m truly injured, I’m going to be playing the game of basketball. That’s just how I am.”
Williamson had seven assists, one off his career high.
Y'all know Z had to show out in LA#Pelicans | @Gatorade pic.twitter.com/rE10VCfYfQ
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) October 30, 2022
“We got some special shooters on this team,” Williamson said. “I’m able to find them and they knock the shots down.”
Pelicans coach Willie Green was glad to have Williamson back on the floor.
“When he touches the ball, he makes the right play, whether it’s to score for himself, finding his teammates or kicking it out, setting screens, continuing to move,” Green said. “He was fantastic.”
The Pelicans are 3-1 when Williamson, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 Draft, plays this season.
Brandon Ingram remained sidelined while in concussion protocols and second-year big man Herb Jones was also out due to a right knee hyperextension.