Duke basketball: Zion Williamson posterizes NBA’s best defender in return

Duke basketball forward Zion Williamson (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Zion Williamson (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball star Zion Williamson made a loud introduction to the NBA season. 

Zion Williamson finally made his long awaited return to the basketball court on Wednesday night and it did not take long for the Duke basketball star to land on the highlight reel.

In his first game since January 2, Williamson played 31 minutes and secured 23 points, seven rebounds, and three assists on 9-of-17 shooting.

However, in the final two minutes of the first half is when Zion sent social media on fire.

The 6-foot-6 forward dribbled between two Memphis Grizzlies defenders — one being former Blue Devil Luke Kennard — and challenged himself by trying to dunk over the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Jaren Jackson Jr.

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Challenge completed.

Williamson tomahawked back and went chest-to-chest with Jackson Jr. before finishing the dunk to stun the FedEx Forum.


Then, on the very next offensive possession for the Pelicans he caught an alley-oop from Brandon Ingram to give the Pelicans a 57-47 lead going into halftime.

New Orleans would comfortably win the season opener, 111-104.

Zion Williamson was limited to just 29 games last season and his constant injuries have only allowed him to play in 114 games entering his fifth season in the NBA.

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Brandon Ingram, after a disappointing summer with Team USA, ended the night with 19 points, seven rebounds, and six assists as Luke Kennard struggled on opening night by missing all five of his 3-point attempts and only registering three points — all coming from the free throw line — in the loss.

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New Orleans will continue to hope that the duo of Ingram and Zion Williamson can stay healthy and give the team the chance to compete at the top of the Western Conference this season.

The Pelicans (1-0) take the floor for its home opener on Saturday, October 28 against the New York Knicks (0-1).

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