Zion joins some elite company following his 31-point performance in NOLA.
Basketball fans had to wait a little longer than expected to see Zion Williamson out on the court, but the New Orleans Pelicans No. 1 pick has not disappointed thus far. In just his ninth career game on Tuesday night, Williamson went off for a career-high 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists in just 28 minutes of action. The only other 19-year olds in NBA history to post such a stat line? LeBron James, , and Luka Doncic.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Williamson is the first rookie since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77 to post a 30-point, five-rebound, five-assist game in fewer than 30 minutes. Furthermore, Williamson is just the third player with seven 20-point games in his first 10 career games over the past 30 seasons, joining Hall of Famers Grant Hill and Shaquille O’Neal.
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Following Tuesday’s 138-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, the 19-year old phenom admitted that not even he envisioned this kind of start to his NBA career.
“I expect to make an impact, but I don’t expect to do nothing like this,” Williamson said after the win, per ESPN. “Just kinda look to come in, kinda fit, not try to mess up. My teammates and coaches are always pushing me, like be outside the box.”
As a result of their third straight W, the Pelicans improved to 23-31 on the season which puts them just 4.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies heading into the All Star break. Check out some highlights from Zion’s 31-point performance below.