Zion Williamson scored 38 points as the visiting New Orleans Pelicans finished strong to hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-109 on Sunday night.
Williamson, who had one more point than the Pelicans’ 101-94 home win over Philadelphia on Friday, made 16-of-22 field goals on Sunday. Brandon Ingram added 27 points and rookie Naji Marshall scored a season-high 15 as the Pelicans won their sixth straight game against the Cavaliers.
Cleveland, which was embarrassed on its home court, 135-115, to Toronto on Saturday, played without injured starting guards Darius Garland (ankle) and Collin Sexton (groin) on Sunday. The Cavaliers still led for most of the game, but faded down the stretch.
Dean Wade led Cleveland with a career-high 21 points, rookie Isaac Okoro had a season-high 19, Kevin Love added 19, Cedi Osman scored 15, Taurean Prince had 11 and Isaiah Hartenstein 10.
New Orleans began the third quarter with an 8-2 run to pull even at 70-70 before Cleveland scored seven straight. The Cavaliers led by as many as nine before the Pelicans cut the lead to 94-90 at the end of the third quarter.
New Orleans pulled even at 99 on Marshall’s 3-pointer with 8:03 remaining, and Marshall followed with an assist on Willy Hernangomez’s layup that put the Pelicans on top.
James Johnson’s basket completed a 12-3 run that gave New Orleans a 106-102 lead.
Cleveland briefly regained the lead before back-to-back baskets by Williamson gave the Pelicans a 112-107 with 1:30 left.
New Orleans outscored the Cavaliers 26-15 in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland used 10 players in the first quarter and each one scored as they took a 39-29 lead at the end of the period. They made 63.6 percent of their field goals, including 7-of-12 3-pointers, while the Pelicans turned the ball over six times.
Cleveland increased the lead to 13 points before New Orleans went on a 19-7 run to get within one point.
The Cavaliers rebuilt the lead to nine points before Jaxson Hayes beat the buzzer and banked in a shot from beyond midcourt to cut the lead to 68-62 at halftime.
–Field Level Media