West Notes: Pelicans, Zion Williamson, Warriors, Clippers


There was no slowing down Zion Williamson in Sunday’s win over the Pistons, with the Pelicans power forward finishing 13-of-14 shooting for 36 points.Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA

He played all of the first quarter and all of the third, to boot.

“He got it going about halfway through the first quarter, and we were just going to ride it,” coach Willie Green said. “That’s why I didn’t take him out until the second.”

  • Per the Associated Press: “Williamson became the third player in the last 20 years to score 35 points without a 3-pointer and with fewer than 15 field goal attempts. Dwyane Wade did it in 2005 and 2006, and Dwight Howard accomplished the feat in 2013.”
  • The Pelicans (44-27) next host the Thunder on Thursday in what is shaping up to be a big March regular-season game.


The Warriors have lost all three meetings to the Timberwolves this season, including the one Sunday. That came a few months after their last matchup, when Draymond Green was suspended for a fight with Rudy Gobert.

Anyway, coach Steve Kerr indicated he likes the Warriors’ changes at least a play-in spot if they play as hard as they did Sunday.

“I’m confident that if we compete and play like that these last 12 games that we’re going to put ourselves in position,” he told reporters.

  • The Rockets had won eight straight through Sunday and trailed the Warriors by just a game for the final play-in spot. Needless to say, Green had an opinion about that. Our Ashish Mathur has that full story here.
  • Meanwhile, star guard Stephen Curry was reportedly “surprised” by his lower minutes total vs. the Wolves, as we relayed here.


Star guard James Harden met his former team in Los Angeles on Sunday, and it didn’t go so well. At least, not for the Clippers.

The 76ers left with a fairly easy 121-107 victory, despite still being without injured center Joel Embiid.

Harden avoided the media, though some of his former teammates spoke about him.

“James is a hell of a player, and I always have a huge amount of respect for him,” Sixers forward Tobias Harris said. “It’s good to see him in LA flourishing and playing his game, just balling out. It’s all love and respect. He’s a Hall of Fame player, and for me it was an honor being here playing with him. To see him on the other side happy and enjoying what he’s doing, that’s really what the game is all about.”

Either way, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said things need to get better here, and real soon.

“We know we’ve got to play better basketball going into the playoffs, or it’s going to be an early season,” Lue said. “Still got full confidence in this team and full confidence in what we can do. It’s just (about) going out and doing it every single night — not 26 minutes, (but) 48 minutes of doing the right things.”

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