Zion Williamson powers Pelicans to crucial win over Suns in West playoff race

Published April 8, 2024, 12:00 PMNBA.com Philippines Staff

Zion Williamson came up big in the clutch to lift the New Orleans past the Phoenix Suns. | Photo (c) New Orleans Pelicans

In arguably the biggest game of the regular season for both the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns, it was the returning Zion Williamson that took center stage, showcasing his dominance during the crucial moments of the game.

After missing one game due to a finger injury, Williamson returned with a stellar performance, recording 29 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists in guiding the Pelicans to a 113-105 win over the Suns at the Footprint Center on Monday (PHL).

The win snapped the Pelicans' four-game losing streak, marking just their second victory in the last seven games.

CJ McCollum contributed 31 points for the Pelicans, followed by 15 from Jose Alvarado, who likewise returned after missing five games with an oblique strain. Trey Murphy III added 13 points, while Dyson Daniels chipped in with 10.



Bradley Beal led the scoring for the Suns with 33 points, supported by 25 points and seven assists from Devin Booker, 23 points from Kevin Durant, and 11 from Grayson Allen.

Both New Orleans and Phoenix are now currently tied with a record of 46-32 with four games left in the season, trailing fifth-place Dallas Mavericks by two games.

Despite the loss, the Suns maintained no.6 in the standings ahead of the Pelicans due to winning the season series, 2-1.

The Pelicans asserted themselves in the third quarter, as McCollum's 3-pointer and an assist to Larry Nance Jr. extended their lead to 62-50.

Despite a resurgence from the Suns, Williamson's six points ensured the Pelicans maintained a 90-83 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final period, Alvarado kicked off the scoring with a 3-pointer, but a scoring surge from Beal briefly propelled the Suns into the lead.



However, Williamson's offensive prowess allowed the Pelicans to regain control, securing the victory with a 111-105 lead in the closing moments.