Zion Williamson scored six of his 23 points down the stretch as the New Orleans Pelicans held off the Memphis Grizzlies 109-99 on Monday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando. Complete Box Score
Williamson, who had played a total of just 29 minutes in the first two games of the restart after leaving the NBA’s “bubble” to tend to a family emergency, played 25 minutes.
The rookie scored six straight Pelicans points as they increased a four-point lead to eight with 1:48 left.
New Orleans (29-38) won for the first time in the restart to tighten the battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies (32-36) fell to 0-3 in the restart and saw their hold on eighth place continue to shrink.
Brandon Ingram led the way for the Pelicans with 24 points, while JJ Redick had 16, and Josh Hart and Jrue Holiday each scored 15 in the win.
Meanwhile, Jaren Jackson Jr. paced Memphis with 22 points.
Former Dude standout Grayson Allen scored 17 points – which all in the first half – Dillon Brooks added 15 and Jonas Valanciunas had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Ja Morant ended 11 points and Brandon Clarke scored 10 for the Grizzlies.
Morant shot 5 of 21 from the floor and 1 of 10 from 3-point range.
The Pelicans led by seven at halftime and increased the edge to 11 points twice early in the third quarter before Memphis rallied.
The Grizzlies pulled even at 65 on Brooks’ jumper, and moments later he hit a 3-pointer to give the Grizzlies a one-point lead.
Hart made two 3-pointers as New Orleans took a 79-74 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Five straight points by Redick gave the Pelicans an 88-78 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Jackson scored eight straight Grizzlies points as Memphis got within 92-88. Ingram made a 3-pointer and another basket to give New Orleans a 97-90 lead.
Holiday scored seven points and Williamson five as New Orleans took a quick 19-8 lead on their way to a 26-22 edge at the end of the period.
Lonzo Ball made a 3-pointer to give the Pelicans their biggest lead of the half at 39-28. Memphis got within four points twice before New Orleans took a 58-51 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media