Zion Williamson shoots over Lauri Markkanen

Preseason postgame wrap: Pelicans 127, Bulls 125

Pelicans (2-0), Bulls (0-2)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

CHICAGO – Trailing by 20-plus points in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game, New Orleans appeared headed for a split of its two-game road trip to the Eastern Conference, but a group of reserves powered the Pelicans to an enormous late comeback. Nickeil Alexander-Walker sank a pair of free throws with 57 seconds remaining, points that stood up as the final score in a rally from a 23-point final-period deficit.

“(It was) exactly what we go by, our identity – Won’t Bow Down,” Alexander-Walker said on postgame radio of the surge, referencing the Pelicans’ 2019-20 popular slogan. “That’s living proof of it right there. Down (23), we found a way to pull it out.”

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Leading by two with 6 seconds left, New Orleans needed a defensive stop and poked the ball away from Chicago. By the time the Bulls retrieved the ball near the halfcourt stripe, it was too late for Ryan Arcidiacono to fire a desperate heave from deep.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Zion Williamson greatly lifted New Orleans’ team shooting percentage by making 12 of his 13 attempts from the field, with all of the baskets coming on dunks and layups. Frequently catching the ball on the move and headed in the direction of the hoop, the Duke product used his overwhelming athleticism to drive all the way to the front of the rim and also earned eight free throws. Williamson totaled 29 points in 27 minutes.

“We’ve got to get him moving,” Alvin Gentry said of the approach to how the Pelicans want Williamson to get the ball. “We want him in space. The way you can do that is get him on the move. I thought he did a good job of catching it on the move and being able to finish.”

BY THE NUMBERS

4/14: New Orleans three-point shooting in the first half.

10/19: New Orleans three-point shooting in the second half. Alexander-Walker and Josh Hart both shot 3/4 in the fourth quarter, while Frank Jackson went 2/2.

41-18: Pelicans scoring margin over the Bulls in the fourth period. Alexander-Walker, Jackson and Kenrich Williams each had one steal vs. Chicago, which was just 5/22 from the field.

Zion Williamson Postgame Interview | Pelicans at Bulls NBA Preseason

Pelicans rookie forward Zion Williamson talks about his 29-point performance in New Orleans' preseason win over the Chicago Bulls.

2019 Preseason Game 2: Pelicans at Bulls

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

Zion Williamson Postgame Interview | Pelicans at Bulls NBA Preseason

Pelicans rookie forward Zion Williamson talks about his 29-point performance in New Orleans' preseason win over the Chicago Bulls.
Oct 10, 2019  |  01:27

Alvin Gentry Postgame Interview | Pelicans at Bulls NBA Preseason

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry talks about the team's comeback victory against the Chicago Bulls and how the win showcased New Orleans' roster depth.
Oct 10, 2019  |  04:12

Pelicans vs. Bulls Postgame: Nickeil Alexander-Walker 10-9-19

Nickeil Alexander-Walker talks about his big game tonight against the Chicago Bulls.
Oct 9, 2019  |  01:50

New Orleans Pelicans Highlights vs. Chicago Bulls

Get full highlights of the Pelicans preseason win over the Chicago Bulls on October 9, 2019.
Oct 9, 2019  |  02:58

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: Nickeil Alexander-Walker with 11 Points in the 4th Quarter

Pelicans Nickeil Alexander-Walker added to the team's 41 fourth-quarter points with 11 of his own, including the game-tying triple.
Oct 9, 2019  |  00:44

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: Josh Hart with 11 Points in the 4th Quarter

Pelicans Josh Hart notched 11 points in the fourth quarter of New Orleans' comeback win against the Chicago Bulls.
Oct 9, 2019  |  00:35

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: Zion Williamson scores 29 points in preseason

Pelicans Zion Williamson tallied 29 points against the Chicago Bulls during 2019 NBA Preseason.
Oct 9, 2019  |  01:59

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: Nickeil Alexander-Walker Drains Three

Pelicans Nickeil Alexander-Walker drains a clutch three to even up the score late against the Chicago Bulls in preseason.
Oct 9, 2019  |  00:18

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: Zion Williamson Spins and Slams

Pelicans Zion Williamson collects the pass, spins and slams it home.
Oct 9, 2019  |  00:26

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: Zion Williamson Drive and Finish

Pelicans Zion Williamson shows off his handles and drives past the defense for the finish.
Oct 9, 2019  |  00:14

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: Brandon Ingram Drive and Spin

Pelicans Brandon Ingram drives strong to the rim and spins past the defense for the finish.
Oct 9, 2019  |  00:09

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: E'Twaun Moore Rejection

Pelicans guard E'Twaun Moore swats away the shot on defense.
Oct 9, 2019  |  00:10

Pelicans at Bulls Highlights: Lonzo Ball throws oop to Zion Williamson

Pelicans Lonzo Ball and Zion Williamson run the fast break and finish with the alley-oop slam.
Oct 9, 2019  |  00:15

Pelicans Shootaround: Zion Williamson 10-9-19

Zion Williamson speaks to the media prior to the Pelicans match up with the Chicago Bulls tonight.
Oct 9, 2019  |  02:05

Pelicans Shootaround: Frank Jackson 10-9-19

Frank Jackson speaks to the media prior to the Pelicans game against the Chicago Bulls.
Oct 9, 2019  |  01:23
NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter