);
New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson makes NBA debut as New Orleans Pelicans host San Antonio Spurs: live score updates, stats, news, highlights

Zion Williamson scores his first career points.
Zion Williamson scores his first career points. (Getty Images)

Three months after offering up a scintillating tease in the preseason, Zion Williamson is finally taking the floor in the regular season for the New Orleans Pelicans.

We've got you covered right here with live updates, stats and highlights.

BOX SCORE | PLAY-BY-PLAY

A refresher on just how good he was in four preseason games:

  • 23.3 points per game in just over 27 minutes per game, tied for fourth in the league
  • Tied with Zach LaVine for fourth in scoring behind only James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry
  • 71.4 percent shooting (1st in the NBA, min. 35 attempts)
  • 17.0 points in the paint per game (1st in the NBA)

For any breaks in the action, here's some complimentary reading:

Zion takes over.

So yeah... LOL.

He'll be fine. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Williamson made to date his most aggressive move of the game on a spin and drive that resulted in a missed layup. Although he missed, it represented a change in mentality because in a matter of moments the rookie simply took over.

  • A quick drop-off dime to Josh Hart
  • A rebound, push in transition and second dime to E'Twaun Moore
  • Not one, not two, not three... but FOUR made 3s!
  • A catch off an over-the-top alley-oop from Lonzo Ball
  • A missed shot on a post but offensive rebound and putback

On two different occassions, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry called back subs he had at the scorers' table ready to sub in for Williamson.

While at the free throw line at the 5:44 mark, he even received MVP chants from the home crowd.

All-in-all, this is exacty the type of offensive display that made him the No. 1 overall pick back in June.

Shaky 3:30 to start the third

Williamson started the second half and looked shaky. He had a pair of turnovers while dribbling into defenders and wasn't overly involved. He did score on a nice inside feed from fellow rookie Jaxson Hayes after initially bobbling on the catch.

Overall, it was another quiet stretch for Williamson who looked hesitant while initiating offence. In essence... he looked like a 19-year-old rookie who hasn't played in three months.

Done for the second quarter?

Williamson heads to the bench with 7:40 left in the second quarter. Head coach Alvin Gentry mentioned that Williamson could expect to play in three-six minute spurts meaning this could be it for the first half.

So far, the rookie has two points on 1-2 shooting to go along with three rebounds, an assist and two turnovers. His second turnover of the game came on a charge.

First career bucket

Williamson's first career basket came after securing an offensive rebound and putback with 10:35 left in the second quarter.

Gauging interest

According to a report by ESPN's Tom Rinaldi, the interest in attention can be gauged by the media credentials passed out by the Pelicans.

They issued 165 credentials for this game against the San Antonio Spurs, over seven times the amount they typically issue for an average home game in January.

Instant impact

In the first three minutes, Williamson wasted no time making his presence felt even though he didn't score. On the very first possession, Lonzo Ball drove and in part because Williamson drew three defenders collapsing, Ball was able to dump it off to Derrick Favors for a quick two.

Williamson touched the ball on four of the Pelicans' first six possessions, drawing several double teams the last of which led to a nifty assist to a cutting Brandon Ingram who slammed it home.

Starting lineups!

Not that this is too much of a surprise... but look who it is!

Zion Williamson is getting the starting nod alongside Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday, Derrick Favors and Lonzo Ball.

The Pelicans also announced that JJ Redick will be available. He was previously listed as questionable with a hamstring strain.

The excitement is building in New Orleans

We're still nearly two hours from tip off and yet New Orleans is gearing up for the big night.

A visual reminder of Zion's scoring

Here's his shot chart from the preseason. We're just going to let those green circles around the rim do the talking.

The views here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

#Serge
What grade does Ibaka deserve for the playoffs?
Kyle Irving
nikola-jokic-091720-ftr-getty.jpg
The three ways Jokic will pick you apart
Scott Rafferty
jamal-murray-lebron-james-nbae-gettyimages
Previewing the Western Conference Finals
Gilbert McGregor
Porter Jr., Rondo, Grant
Biggest X-Factors in Lakers-Nuggets series
Yash Matange
#Barton
Barton's return could be the x-factor the Nuggets need
Benyam Kidane
0-2 Conf. Finals comebacks
Teams to come back from 2-0 in Conference Finals
Yash Matange
More News