King James Outduels Zion Williamson as Lakers Beat Pelicans 118-109
By John Holtz
Thu, 27 Feb 2020
Lebron James had an epic game scoring a season high 40 points with eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Lakers in defeating top pick Zion Williamson and his Pelicans, 118-109 at the Staples Center Tuesday night, Feb. 25.
King James' first matchup versus Williamson showed that the "old man" still is the king, and he's not giving up his crown without a fight. Zion had several monster dunks but so did Lebron, as they went toe-to-toe. The crowd loved every minute of it. The Pelicans' rookie is a special talent, but this was Lebron's night, just one day after the Kobe Bryant memorial service was held there.
The Lakers started out on fire and had an early big lead in the first quarter, going up 17 to 4 but New Orleans fought back ending the quarter only down by 4. Lebron single-handedly went on a 11 to 0 run to start the second half hitting 3's like they were lay-ups. But when he was off the court, it was hard for LA to score and the Pelicans actually took the lead in the fourth quarter. The whole night it was a game of runs, with the Pelicans always clawing their way back until late in the fourth quarter when they just ran out of fire power. The first place Lakers notched their sixth straight win to advance their record to 44-12.
Zion used his strength and quickness to score 29 points, mostly all inside the paint and from the line. He added six rebounds with his incredible verticality. This is Williamson's ninth straight game with 20+ points. He looked unstoppable at times and showed why he is the most hyped rookie in the NBA since the King himself. The ex-Laker and new All-Star Brandon Ingram came back to LA looking for some revenge against the team that traded him. He scored an impressive 34 points, but came up short in the end.
So many story lines. We cannot forget about one of the top five players in the NBA and former face of the Pelicans, Anthony Davis, who looked like the defensive player of the year with six blocks, 14 boards and 21 points. In this new NBA where now you can pick who you play with, it looks like Lebron could not have picked a more perfect pairing.
The old Los Angeles Lakers face of the franchise just a few years back, Lonzo Ball, played decently, adding 10 points and a couple of sweet dimes. But he was utterly embarrassed when in the play of the night, he was blocked at the rim and thrown to the ground by crowd favorite Alex Caruso.
With this loss on Fat Tuesday, New Orleans falls to 25-33 and are 3 and 1/2 games back of the eighth spot in the West.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by John Holtz.
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