What a rollercoaster!
The New Orleans Pelicans kept their playoff hopes alive, rallying from a 10-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to force overtime and snatch a valuable 140-136 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, ending their four-game win streak.
After trailing 119-109 with 4:22 remaining, they closed out regulation on a 12-2 run to force OT behind monster performances from Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball.
Here are the key takeaways from the thrilling contest.
Zion vs Edwards
In a battle between the two previous No.1 overall draft picks, Zion Williamson (No. 1 pick in 2019) turned in another trademark performance, getting the best of 2020 No.1 pick Anthony Edwards.
Williamson was at his bullying best, recording 37 points, nine rebounds and tied his career-high with eight assists, shooting a scorching 14-of-17 from the field.
In the process, he joined Nikola Jokic as the only players with 35/8/8 on 80 percent shooting in the last 20 seasons, per StatMuse.
Players to record 10+ games with 30 PPG on 70 FG% in a season since 1983:- StatMuse (@statmuse) May 2, 2021
- Shaquille O'Neal
- Charles Barkley
- Karl Malone
- Kevin McHale
- Zion Williamson pic.twitter.com/LbeXkKputi
His physicality in the paint caused havoc for the Wolves all night as he fouled out Karl-Anthony Towns, Naz Reid and Jaden McDaniels as he relentlessly powered his way to the rim, scoring seven of his 37 in overtime.
Williamson tied things up at 127-127 with three minutes to go in OT, before Eric Bledsoe's 3-pointer put them in front. Williamson then scored five-straight points to put the Pelicans in front 135-129 lead with 1:38 to go.
Meanwhile, Edwards led the Timberwolves with 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists, providing his nightly highlight-reel dunk in the fourth quarter.
ANT ARE YOU KIDDING 😱 pic.twitter.com/EAmL18pIHt- Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) May 2, 2021
While Edwards has been a scoring machine all season, he continues to develop his playmaking, recording six assists for the fourth time this season.
A career night for Lonzo
Lonzo Ball is a certified sniper.
Playing with unbridled confidence, Ball was letting it fly in New Orleans, pouring in a career-high 33 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three steals, tying his career-high with eight 3-pointers on 17 attempts.
While the eight makes are impressive, it's the 17 attempts that show just how far Ball has come as a shooter, taking a mix of contested, wide-open and pull-up threes without hesitation.
Now shooting 37.8 percent from deep on 8.1 attempts per game, Ball joined Ryan Anderson (3) as the only New Orleans players with multiple games with eight made threes, per Pelicans PR.
Lonzo starts the second half the same way he started the first 🔥- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) May 2, 2021
19 points and counting! pic.twitter.com/aFYtZXsKgI
With each passing game, Ball is making his upcoming restricted free agency more intriguing with multiple teams sure to be circling for the ever-improving playmaker.
Tonight's win helps the Pelicans stay in the race for the in the Play-In seeds following the Warriors win over the Rockets earlier in the night.
They're currently 3.0 games back of both the Warriors (32-32) and San Antonio Spurs (31-31) who occupy the ninth and ten seeds, with three of the Pelicans' final eight games coming against Steph Curry and co, beginning with a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday (ET) in New Orleans.
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