The last time Zion Williamson played in a Pelican uniform was roughly a year and a half ago. So coming into the season opener Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets a lot of curious eyes were on the high-flying big man.
Impressively Zion did not disappoint. He finished the game with 25 points, nine rebounds, and four steals, helping lead the Pelicans to a commanding win over the Net 130-108.
When asked in the postgame interview how did he feel about his performance? Zion gave a modest answer saying he had a "decent starter performance."
"There is a lot of room for improvement," he said. "I'm still learning my teammates. And now we get real in-game reps. I'm just excited to grow."
Zion's counter partners Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum helped to deliver a balanced attack against the Nets. BI finished with 28 points and seven rebounds, and McCollum with 21 points, and six assists.
Kevin Durant of the Nets provided 32 points, three rebounds, and four blocks in a losing effort. Kyrie Irving, unfortunately, could not find his rhythm shooting 6-19 from the field with only 15 points.
The Pelicans set the tone early in the game on offense and defense. Their size and length gave the Nets problems in the interior, where the Pelicans thrived. The Pelican closed out the first quarter with a 32-14 lead.
In the second quarter, the Nets came to life thanks to Kevin Durant. Durant delivered 15 points in the quarter, which helped trim the halftime deficit to 58-50.
But in the end, it was too much Pelicans' firepower. In the third quarter, the Pelicans won the third quarter 40-28 on the play of BI and Zion. Together they combined for 23 points and helped build a comfortable 20-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Pelicans never looked back and closed the game with a convincing 130-108 win at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Worth A Mention
The Pelicans won the second chance points battle against the Nets 36-4.