WATCH: New Orleans Pelicans annihilate Brooklyn Nets to start NBA season

WATCH: New Orleans Pelicans annihilate Brooklyn Nets to start NBA season

Los Angeles – On Wednesday, Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the star-studded Brooklyn Nets by a score of 130-108 in Brooklyn.

Brandon Ingram scored 28 points, while Zion Williamson, returning from a season-ending foot injury, scored 25 points in his first regular-season game in almost 17 months.

“It’s insane,” said Williamson, the top pick in the 2019 draft who, at age 22, has already had a slew of ailments. “Just playing the game I love, which I hadn’t had the opportunity to play in a long time, was a breath of fresh air.

Williamson remarked, “There is much space for improvement.” “I am still getting to know my teammates… I’m simply eager to depart.”

BI IS GAINING STRENGTH pic.twitter.com/l821ApLhrZ

2022-10-20 — New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA)

Midway through the first quarter, Williamson boosted the Pelicans to an 18-4 lead, easily outperforming Ben Simmons of the Nets, another previous top draft pick who has also battled ailments.

Simmons made his debut for the Nets, who acquired him from the 76ers last season despite the fact that he was suffering from a back issue for which he underwent surgery in May.

Kevin Durant, who stayed in Brooklyn despite shocking the league with a trade demand in June, scored 21 of his 32 points in the first half to keep the home team close.

In the third quarter, though, the Pelicans outscored the Nets 40-28 to grab the lead for good. They led by as many as 26 points and never trailed, converting 21 offensive rebounds into 36 points.

Ingram was an exemplar of effectiveness, scoring 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting.

In comparison, Kyrie Irving made only six of his 19 attempts for 15 points, while Simmons scored only four points before fouling out.

On the second night of the season, the Suns overcame a 22-point deficit in the third quarter to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 107-105 in Phoenix. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the New York Knicks 115-112 in overtime in a game played in Memphis.

The Mavs, led by Luka Doncic’s 35 points, appeared to be in cruise control against a Suns team they removed from the playoffs last season.

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— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) October 20, 2022

Despite the struggles of star point guard Chris Paul, the Suns were able to close the gap to a single point with one minute remaining in the third quarter.

Cameron Payne’s basket late in the fourth quarter gave the Suns the lead, and although Doncic knotted the game at 105-105 with 32.8 seconds remaining, Damion Lee’s off-balance jumper sealed the victory.

Five Suns players scored in double figures, including reserve Lee, who scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter.

Gobert excels for the Wolves.

Cam Reddish’s three-pointer forced OT as the determined Knicks overcame a 19-point hole to force a game into overtime against the resilient Grizzlies, who were led by Ja Morant’s 34 points.

Tyus Jones missed two free throws late in overtime, giving Memphis a 115-112 lead, and Evan Fournier missed a three-point try for the Knicks. The Knicks then had another opportunity, but Tyus Jones missed both free throws.

“It came down to the team that was getting stops and executing,” Morant explained. Even though the game was still close, I felt that we performed admirably; our resilience was evident.

Rudy Gobert, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in his Minnesota debut to help the Timberwolves defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 115-108.

Cade Cunningham scored 24 points to lead the Pistons to a 113-109 victory over Orlando in Detroit, but the Magic were able to enjoy the debut of this year’s No. 1 lottery pick, Paolo Banchero.

The 19-year-debut old’s performance of 27 points, nine rebounds, and five assists was the best by a top overall pick since LeBron James in 2003.

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