NBA: Williamson nets 25 as Pelicans sweep Blazers

Reuters

Posted at Feb 22 2020 03:25 PM

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) smiles as he heads to the free throw line during the second quarter of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Steve Dykes, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Zion Williamson scored 25 points and the New Orleans Pelicans completed a four-game season sweep of Portland with a solid 128-115 road victory over the Trail Blazers on Friday night.

Jrue Holiday recorded 20 points, nine assists and four steals and Brandon Ingram added 16 points and six assists for the Pelicans, who have won seven of their past 10 games.

Lonzo Ball had 15 points and seven assists, Josh Hart added 13 points and 13 rebounds and Nicolo Melli also scored 13 for New Orleans.

CJ McCollum registered 27 points, matched his career high of 10 assists and grabbed six rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who played without All-Star shooting guard Damian Lillard (groin).

Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points and Hassan Whiteside added 19 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots for Portland, which lost its third straight game.

Gary Trent Jr. had 15 points and Trevor Ariza added 13 points and eight rebounds.

New Orleans knocked down 18 of 34 3-point attempts with Holiday leading the way with four. Overall, the Pelicans shot 53.6 percent.

Portland shot 45.7 percent from the field and was 10 of 27 from behind the arc.

New Orleans held an 80-68 advantage after Williamson's layup with 9:40 left in the third quarter.

Portland rattled off the next nine points to move within three but Hart buried back-to-back 3-pointers during an 8-0 surge as the Pelicans went ahead 88-77 with 4:50 remaining.

The Trail Blazers moved within seven before New Orleans scored the final 12 points of the quarter. E'Twaun Moore scored the first five, Melli tallied the next four and Hart drained a 3-pointer as time expired to give New Orleans a 102-83 lead entering the final stanza.

Melli began the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to stretch the spurt to 15 straight points and increase the margin to 22.

Portland made a dash and crept within 114-105 on a 3-pointer by McCollum with 5:41 remaining.

But Holiday connected on a 3-pointer, Ball converted a layup and Derrick Favors scored back-to-back hoops to push the lead to 123-105 with 4:05 left and the Pelicans closed to the finish.

Favors collected 12 rebounds for New Orleans.

Williamson scored 19 points in the first half as the Pelicans held a 73-63 lead at the break.

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