Duke Blue Devils star Zion Williamson made his much-anticipated return from injury Thursday night, and he was more than ready for it.
Playing in his first game since suffering a Grade 1 knee sprain back on Feb. 20, Williamson led Duke to an 84-72 victory over Syracuse by dropping 29 points on 13-of-13 shooting and adding 14 rebounds, five steals and one block. That dominant performance was made possible by sticking to his typical mindset.
"I love this game, I love my teammates, so people who thought I wasn't going to return they weren't smart. I love playing with Duke. I love my teammates and it was great to be back," Williamson said in his postgame interview with ESPN, h/t Forbes' Adam Zagoria. "I come ready to kill every game, so it was just great to get back on the court."
He made that clear early in the contest when he took flight for a highlight-reel dunk. That would just be the start of his record-tying night:
Williamson's big night set the stage for a showdown with archrival North Carolina in the ACC semifinals. The Tar Heels took both regular-season meetings, as Williamson suffered his knee injury in the opening minute of the first game and sat out the second in Chapel Hill last weekend.