NEW ORLEANS, La. (AP) - Zion Williamson wowed the home crowd with another impressive preseason performance, scoring 26 points and grabbing five rebounds in New Orleans' 128-127 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
Javon Bess was credited with the game-winning layup in the final seconds after Utah’s Jarrell Brantley was called for goaltending.
Williamson scored five of the Pelicans' first seven points, including his first 3-pointer of the preseason. He finished the first half with 10 points, but was even better after the break.
With Utah's Rudy Gobert vigilantly defending the paint, fans had to wait until the third quarter to roar for Williamson's first dunk on his new home court. It came after he missed a runner in the lane over Gobert, but raced to the left side of the rim to snag the rebound and throw it down with two hands.
Williamson asserted himself more while being guarded by Jazz reserves in the fourth quarter. He twice banked in double-clutch floaters while being fouled by Ed Davis. Williamson smiled and flexed his bicep after the second as the crowd came out of its seats.
Soon after, he sank a driving underhanded floater as he was fouled by William Howard and completed the three-point play to put the Pelicans up 109-106.
The No. 1 overall pick in June finished 9 of 12 from the field and 7 of 9 on free throws in 23 minutes.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 22 points for the Pelicans (3-0). Brandon Ingram scored 18 and Lonzo Ball had 15
Utah (1-2) was led by Jeff Green, who scored 20 points off the bench. Royce O’Neale added 16.