Pelicans register first W with Williamson


    NEW ORLEANS. — Zion Williamson had his first double-double as an NBA player, and the New Orleans Pelicans won for the first time with him in the lineup, 123-108 over the visiting Boston Celtics on Sunday.

    Williams, the top pick in the 2019 NBA draft, had 21 points and 11 rebounds in his third game after preseason knee surgery. Jrue Holiday scored a team-high 25 points, and Derrick Favors added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Lonzo Ball added a career-high 15 assists to go with eight points.

    All-Star guard Kemba Walker led the Celtics with 35 points, Gordon Hayward scored 23, and Jaylen Brown, returning from a two-game absence due to an ankle injury, added 20.

    Before the singing of the national anthem, the Pelicans held a 24-second moment of silence in honor of former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who died along with one of his daughters, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday morning. When the game began, the teams followed the lead of the Spurs and Raptors earlier in the day by dribbling out the shot clock in Bryant’s honor on their first possessions.

    In other games, it was Portland 139, Indiana 129; Atlanta 152, Washington 133; LA Clippers 112, Orlando 97; New York 110, Brooklyn 97; Denver 117, Houston 110; Toronto 110, San Antonio 106; and Memphis 114, Phoenix 109.

    Blazers 139, Pacers 129

    Damian Lillard continued his scoring spree with 50 points, matched his season high of 13 assists and grabbed six rebounds to lead Portland past visiting Indiana.

    Lillard made 14 of 23 shots from the field — including 8 of 12 from 3-point range — to become the first player in franchise history to record three straight efforts of 40 points or more. CJ McCollum scored 28 points and made six 3-pointers for the Trail Blazers after missing the previous three games because of an ankle injury.

    Jeremy Lamb scored 28 points and Domantas Sabonis had 27 points, 14 rebounds and a career-best 11 assists for the Pacers, who lost for just the second time in their past nine games. Indiana dropped its 11th straight game at Portland.

    Hawks 152, Wizards 133

    Trae Young responded in an emotional way to the death of Kobe Bryant by producing 45 points and 14 assists to help Atlanta defeat visiting Washington Sunday. Young began the game wearing No. 8, Bryant’s original jersey number, before changing into his usual No. 11. Young wore Bryant’s No. 24 on the back of his shoes.

    It was the eighth time this season Young has scored 40-plus points. He was 13 of 24 from the floor, 13 of 16 from the line and had six rebounds. Five other players scored in double figures: De’Andre Hunter with 25, Kevin Huerter with 18, John Collins with 16, Bruno Fernando with 14 and Cam Reddish with 13. Fernando had 12 rebounds.

    Bradley Beal had 40 points and six assists for Washington, which had six other players score in double figures. Troy Brown Jr. finished with 19 points.

    Los Angeles Clippers 112 – Orlando Magic 97

    Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and Landry Shamet and Montrezl Harrell added 19 points each as Los Angeles used a third-quarter charge to notch the road victory.

    Lou Williams scored 15 points as the Clippers improved to 4-1 on their season-long six game road trip. Leonard extended his career-long streak of 30-point games to eight.

    Michael Carter-Williams scored 15 points as the Magic lost their third consecutive game and fell for the fifth time in their past six games. Orlando lost twice to the Clippers during that stretch, falling 122-95 at Los Angeles on Dec. 16. – Reuters