Duke basketball: Zion Williamson dazzles in matchup against draft rival

Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Former Duke basketball product Zion Williamson put on a show against his NBA Draft rival. 

Zion Williamson and Ja Morant will forever be connected with each other for being selected as the No. 1 and No. 2 picks, respectively, in the 2019 NBA Draft. However, the former Duke basketball product got the better of his draft rival on Tuesday night.

A game removed from his career-best 36 points against the Dallas Mavericks, Williamson poured in 31 points for the New Orleans Pelicans (12-15) in a 144-113 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies (11-12).

The former No. 1 overall pick added seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals on a scorching 13-of-16 shooting from the field.

Williamson also made his lone three-point attempts and converted on all four of his free throw attempts in just 28 minutes.

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Ja Morant flirted with a triple-double with 28 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists for Memphis.

New Orleans improved to 6-0 in games which Williamson records at least five assists.

Former Blue Devils were bountiful in the marquee matchup in the NBA on Tuesday night while Brandon Ingram added 22 points for the Pelicans in the victory as JJ Redick, a hot topic in trade conversations, chipped in seven points off the bench.

As for the Grizzlies, Grayson Allen and Tyus Jones both struggled with their shots despite the offensive explosion.

Allen logged 26 minutes with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting while Jones came off the bench for just two points, both coming at the free throw line, after missing all five field goals he attempted.

Duke basketball star makes history in victory

In his sophomore season in the NBA, Zion Williamson is leading the Pelicans in points per game, 24.6, and is trending to make his first All-Star Game appearance.

However, Williamson is still setting records going back to his rookie season as he became the first player in NBA history to average over 23.0 points per game while shooting 60.0-percent or better from the field through his first 50 career games.

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Zion Williamson averaged 23.6 points per game and fired at a 60.0-percent clip from the floor in his first 50 career NBA games.

The Pelicans and Grizzlies do not play again in the first half of the NBA schedule as New Orleans returns to the court on Wednesday, February 17 against the Portland Trail Blazers (17-10) at 9:00pm EST.

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