NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Zion Williamson scored 14 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Philadelphia 76ers 101-94 on Friday night.
Williamson scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and eight of the Pelicans' first 10, extending an eight point lead to 86-71. He scored three more goals after the 76ers moved to 94-87 with 4:03 left.
Williamson was 15 of 28 off the field, adding 15 rebounds and eight assists. Brandon Ingram added 17 runs, but shot back 5 of 21 in his first game after missing five with a right foot injury.
"My teammates gave me confidence and said we trust you and every move you make," said Williamson. "All that stuff comes into play."
Philadelphia, which missed an opportunity to level Brooklyn for the best record in the Eastern Conference, came a season low with 94 points.
Joel Embiid, who had scored 59 points in two games since returning from injury, had 14 points in 5-of-16 shots.
His teammates fought as much as he did against the Pelicans, who had given up 123 points to Atlanta and 139 to Brooklyn in their last two games. Tobias Harris led the 76ers with 23 points, but none other than him or Embiid had more than four field goals.
"It was just a big loss for us," said Harris. “We never put physicality into play. They have all 50-50 basketballs and all the hustle and bustle. We came into the game with the idea that we would score them better. "
They had no answer for Williamson, who demonstrated his unique skills by playing point guard all the time on the half-court attack.
“He's just as gifted physically as they come,” said Harris. "He's the real deal. He has the size and the speed and the agility to play downhill."
Coach Stan Van Gundy anticipated the Pelicans' early fight and praised Philadelphia's defense before the game.
“In my mind Ben Simmons is the best defender in the league,” he said. & # 39; Joel Embiid is an All-Defense type man. Danny Green has always been a very good defender. Dwight Howard was defensive player of the year for three years. They just got some guys who are making it really, really hard. "
CHAOS ON THE COURT
Typical of a sloppy first half was a wild streak when Ben Simmons hit a pass from Pelicans' Eric Bledsoe all the way to the other side of the track, but saved it for Ingram when he jumped over the baseline. Ingram then collided with teammate Stephen Adams after crossing the mid lane. Adams ducked to the ground to round up the loose ball in traffic and went from a reclining position to Bledsoe, who fed Jaxson Hayes for an alley dive.
76ers: Embiid had his lowest point total since scoring nine against Miami on January 14. He returned to the field after the game and worked on his shot for nearly 15 minutes, the 76ers going 11 for 31 on 3-pointers.
Pelicans: After missing seven games with an injury to his left hit and returning for the past three games, Lonzo Ball was sitting outside with a right hip problem.
76ers: Saturday in Oklahoma City.
Pelicans: Sundays in Cleveland.