When they met for the first time on an NBA court last week, it was more of a feeling-out process than toe-to-toe battle.
LeBron James and the Lakers bested rookie Zion Williamson and the Pelicans 118-109 in that Tuesday clash, but they did not match up against one another on memorable plays. Williamson often deferred offensively to Brandon Ingram, who poured in a team-high 34 points.
They had a more personal battle Sunday, each leading their teams in scoring and exchanging highlight-reel blows throughout. James nailed a clutch 3-pointer in the fourth quarter in Williamson’s face, but Williamson drove by James on a couple of occasions. James finished with 34 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds. Williamson had 35 points and seven rebounds.
After James and the Lakers again prevailed, this time 122-114, James appeared to offer Williamson extended advice at midcourt.
Here is the late 3-pointer from James that put Los Angeles up 116-111:
Here some slicing and dicing from James on Williamson earlier in the contest:
And here is Williamson achieving his career-high of 35 points over James:
Following the game, both players were complimentary of each other as expected.
“The league is in great hands,” James said of Williamson (as well as other top first- and second-year NBA players) in a postgame TV interview.
Los Angeles and New Orleans will not meet again this season.
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