Zion Williamson on Career-High 31 Points: 'As Long as We Get the Win, I'm Happy'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles the ball as Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza (8) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)
Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson looked like a 10-time All-Star instead of a rookie playing in his ninth career game during Tuesday's 138-117 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, but he was just happy his team came out on top.

"As long as we get the win, I'm happy," he said:  

Williamson finished with a career-high 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists while shooting 10-of-17 from the field and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line.

While the Duke product cracked the 30-point barrier for the first time in his career, this wasn't exactly a head-turning outlier. He has scored 20 or more points in five straight games and seven of his nine contests with an array of high-flying dunks and soft touch around the rim.

He looks the part of a future star, someone the Pelicans can build around for at least a decade as a potential franchise cornerstone after they traded Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The win Williamson prioritized over his own individual brilliance was anything but easy as the Pelicans fell behind by as many as 16 points in the first quarter before battling back and completely taking over in the third. New Orleans outscored Portland 41-21 in the third quarter alone and never looked back.

The Pelicans are a perfect 3-0 against the Blazers this season, so they will have the tiebreaker should it be necessary come playoff time.

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New Orleans is still in 11th place in the Western Conference and 4.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 spot, but the ninth-seeded Trail Blazers are one of the teams it is chasing. Having that tiebreaker could prove crucial if Tuesday's game is an indication of more wins to come.

Those wins will be exactly what Williamson is looking for based on Tuesday's comments.