Derrick Favors and Josh Hart contest a shot by Kemba Walker

Postgame wrap: Pelicans 123, Celtics 108

Pelicans (18-29), Celtics (30-15)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

In just the third game of his NBA career, Zion Williamson’s minutes continued to climb, but it was how the Pelicans performed when he wasn’t on the court that contributed greatly to making him a winner for the first time.

In two previous losses to San Antonio and Denver, New Orleans did just fine when Williamson was on the court, but the Pelicans were outscored by a combined 30 points as the No. 1 draft pick rested. On Sunday, New Orleans was plus-13 in non-Williamson minutes, giving the hosts enough of a cushion to win comfortably over a Boston club that had won three straight games.

Williamson’s minutes have been watched closely – not just by the Pelicans, but by pretty much everyone – so Sunday was another positive step forward, with the Duke standout logging 27 minutes. The bump from 21 in the previous game also allowed New Orleans to put Williamson back in the game during the final few minutes, when the Pelicans sealed a much-needed victory to cap a difficult three-game homestand.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Lonzo Ball grabbed a defensive rebound and adeptly saved it back inbounds, giving New Orleans possession with two-plus minutes remaining and an 11-point lead at 117-106. Williamson iced it with a dunk along the baseline for an and-one opportunity at 1:54. Brad Stevens subbed in his deep reserves soon after Williamson’s resounding slam.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Jrue Holiday had rough shooting games vs. the Spurs and Nuggets to begin this homestand, but before and after that, he notched big scoring performances against the Grizzlies and Celtics. Holiday’s three-point basket with roughly four minutes left Sunday put New Orleans in optimum position to prevail with a 14-point lead, part of his 25-point game. In addition to Holiday’s quality night, fellow backcourt starter Ball was stellar in directing the attack, handing out 15 assists, to go with eight points and six rebounds.

#WEEKLYREVIEW

Zion Williamson became the fifth different player to be voted Pelicans Player of the Week by fans on Twitter this season, as well as the fourth in just the past five weeks. The rookie’s minute allotment was kept modest as he methodically gets closer to normal usage, but that didn’t stop the No. 1 overall draft pick from impressive production, averaging 18.7 points and 8.0 rebounds, on 67 percent shooting from the field. He earned roughly two-thirds of votes for Week 14, at 66 percent. Lonzo Ball was next at 18 percent.

Previous winners

Week 1-3: Brandon Ingram

Week 4: Jrue Holiday

Week 5-9: Brandon Ingram

Week 10: Derrick Favors

Week 11-12: Lonzo Ball

Week 13: Brandon Ingram

Calls of the Game: New Orleans Pelicans vs Boston Celtics - Game 47 - Jan. 26, 2020

Hear the voice of the New Orleans Pelicans, Todd Graffagnini, call the Pelicans game against the Boston Celtics on the Pelicans Radio Network, ESPN 100.3 FM New Orleans. Listen in.

Game 47: Pelicans vs. Celtics 1/26/20

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Calls of the Game: New Orleans Pelicans vs Boston Celtics - Game 47 - Jan. 26, 2020

Hear the voice of the New Orleans Pelicans, Todd Graffagnini, call the Pelicans game against the Boston Celtics on the Pelicans Radio Network, ESPN 100.3 FM New Orleans. Listen in.
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Entertainment: Pelicans Dance Team 2nd quarter performance - January 26 vs. Boston Celtics

The Pelicans Dance Team performed for fans during the 2nd quarter of the team's home game against the Boston Celtics on January 26, 2020.
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Entertainment: The Pelicans Drum Line performance - January 26, 2020 vs. Boston Celtics

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Pelicans vs Celtics Postgame: Lonzo Ball 1-26-20

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Pelicans vs Celtics Postgame: Alvin Gentry 1-26-20

Head Coach Alvin Gentry speaks to the media after the New Orleans Pelicans 123-108 victory over the Boston Celtics at Smoothie King Center on January 26, 2020.
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Pelicans vs Celtics Postgame: Zion Williamson 1-26-20

Zion Williamson speaks to the media after the New Orleans Pelicans 123-108 victory over the Boston Celtics at Smoothie King Center on January 26, 2020.
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GAME RECAP: Pelicans 123, Celtics 108

Jrue Holiday leads New Orleans to the home win against Boston with 25 points and 6 rebounds.
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New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday speaks with Jen Hale about the team's win over the Celtics and shares his thoughts on the passing of Kobe Bryant.
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Get your 60-second recap of the New Orleans Pelicans 123-108 victory over the Boston Celtics.
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New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball throws an inbound alley-oop pass to Zion Williamson for the slam.
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New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes flies down the lane for the monster fastbreak slam.
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Pelicans vs. Celtics Highlights: Zion Williamson putback bucket and-1

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson corrals the missed shot and spins back to the rim for the bucket and-1.
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Pelicans opening possession honors Kobe Bryant

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