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New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Wiliamson's career-high sparks New Orleans Pelicans to big win against the Portland Trail Blazers

Six Pelicans scored in double figures as they beat the red-hot Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers by 21 points, their third-biggest win margin of the season.

The team tied a franchise record with 40 assists as they rolled to a season-series clinching win over the Trail Blazers.

Zion's career night

In his limited 28 minutes, Zion Williamson finished with team-highs of 31 points (10-17 FG; 11-14 FT), nine rebounds and +25. He also dished out five assists.

He became only the sixth rookie in NBA history to record five consecutive 20+ point games but he is the first to do so in the the first nine games of their career.

He also became the third player in the last 30 seasons alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Grant Hill to score 20 or more seven times in their first 10 games.

This game was also the second time Williamson scored more points than minutes. In the shot-clock era, starting from the 1954-55 season, Michael Jordan is the only other rookie to do so twice in the first 10 games of his career.

Zion, Pelicans turn it around in the 3rd Q

Late in the first quarter, the Trail Blazers led by 16 (35-19 at 1:12 mark) but Williamson and the Pelicans kept chipping away at the lead before turning it into a blowout with their 41-point third quarter.

The Pelicans shot 18-of-28 (64.3%) from the field and assisted on 13 of those 18 made field goals. Williamson and Josh Hart were among the biggest contributors in this quarter.

While Hart was the game's top scorer for the period with 12 points, Williamson finished with seven points, three rebounds, and two assists.

More importantly, the Pelicans held the Trail Blazers to only 21 points, allowing them to carry an 18-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Off-game for Lillard, but crucial win for the Pelicans

In 29 minutes, Damian Lillard finished with 20 points (6-16 FG; 0-4 3PT; 8-9 FT), six assists, and five rebounds.

For the first time in a month, Lillard scored 20 points or less (since Jan. 9 game vs. Minnesota Timberwolves). It was only the second time in a month that he had shot less than 40 percent from the field and it was the first time since Dec. 23 that he failed to knock down a three-pointer.

In fact, he now has only two games this season with zero 3-pointers and both were against the Pelicans.

With both the Pelicans and Trail Blazers in the race for the last playoff spot in the West, this win, which helps the Pelicans go 3-0 against the Trail Blazers this season, is a crucial one as it gives the New Orleans franchise the head-to-head tie-breaker.

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