Duke basketball: Zion Williamson injured during career performance in postseason

The former Blue Devil's status is in doubt going forward
Apr 16, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Former Duke basketball forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts
Apr 16, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Former Duke basketball forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

There is no debating the special talent that former Duke basketball star Zion Williamson has. It was on display during Tuesday's Play-In Tournament against the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring 40 points.

However, the one criticism about the unique player has been his inability to remain healthy and Williamson silenced those claims, playing a career-high 70 games this season before something went wrong late in the New Orleans Pelicans comeback bid.

Williamson made a floater over Anthony Davis with 3:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, tying the score at 95, but grimaced as he walked towards the bench after the play. He didn't fall awkwardly nor did anything unusual happen during the sequence, but it was clear something was wrong.

During the timeout, Zion threw a towel in frustration on the bench and never returned. The Lakers outscored the Pelicans 15-11 since Williamson's departure, winning 110-106, and advancing to the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

New Orleans called Zion Williamson's injury "lower leg soreness" but it was later clarified through Shams Charania of The Athletic that Williamson appeared to suffer a left hamstring injury and would undergo an MRI on Wednesday.

Williamson was in the midst of breaking his career-high in points, previously set at 43, with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists on 17-of-27 shooting. He was, by far, outplaying LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Hamstring injures are no stranger to Zion, who suffered a right hamstring strain in January of last season. The injury was supposed to sideline him for about three weeks but he would never play again that season.

New Orleans will be back on the court Friday, April 19 (9:30 p.m., TNT) in a do-or-die game against the Sacramento Kings. The winner will play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Playoffs while the loser has its season end.