Last month was a roller coaster for the New Orleans Pelicans. Seven straight wins, four straight losses, and on Wednesday night Minnesota won four in a row after he beat the Timberwolves 119-118.
Zion Williamson was once again a hero as he carried Pells on his back in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to enter the highest scoring game of his career. He tallied 43 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists in 14 of his 21 games off the field. His 14 of them were scored during his 2 minutes and 44 seconds in the final of the game. It was an outrageous run that may have been the pinnacle of Williamson’s experience up to this point.
The ending of Wednesday night’s game is exactly why Williamson has long been called a must-watch TV show. Every time the Pelicans play, I feel the need to tune in because I don’t want to miss out on these great moments.
When the clock hit three minutes, the Pelicans were trailing by five and their winning streak seemed to be coming to an end. Williamson had another idea. In his 2:44 of the final, he outscored the Wolves by his 14-8, completing a stunning comeback. He scored all the points and took all but one shot for the Pelicans during that stretch. He had his three different game tying baskets and he had two go-ahead his scores.
“I looked at a lot of old school players and tried to understand their mindset. Their mindset was all the same. People remember the winners,” Williamson said. When it came time for me to finish the basketball game, I want people to say he was the winner CJ looked at me and said ‘up.’ And that was all the motivation I needed did.”
This was one of the best individual stretches we’ve seen in years, let alone this season. Everyone in the building knew he had the ball every time he came off the court, but it didn’t matter. I was too determined to stop him.
Even Rudy Gobert, who the Wolves gave up big bucks to acquire specifically for moments like this, had no answer. I took off just inside and floated to the rim for a finger roll layup before Gobert got off the ground.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it,” McCallum said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever see someone with that kind of strength, power and speed who can jump east and west and go straight up. He can jump east and west and finish. The defense that protects him. “
Finally healthy after missing the end of the 2020-21 season and the entire 2021-22 season with injury, Williamson is living up to the promise that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. For the season, he is averaging 25.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game with his 60.7% field goal percentage. Best of all, he leads the Pelicans in the Western Conference with his 22-12 record.