Hamstring injury sidelines Zion for at least 2 weeks

Hamstring injury sidelines Zion for at least 2 weeks

Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.
Updated on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at 1:40 p.m. Eastern.

New Orleans star power forward Zion Williamson didn’t play in Friday’s play-in tournament game at home vs. Sacramento due to a hamstring injury sustained in last night’s loss to the Lakers.

Nevertheless, the Pelicans beat Sacramento 105-98 as 1.5-point home underdogs. The 203 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 211.5-point total.

Williamson will be re-evaluated in two weeks, and he’s not expected to play in his team’s first-round series vs. Oklahoma City. OKC has been installed as an 8.5-point home favorite for Sunday’s series opener.

The Los Angeles Lakers won a 110-106 decision at New Orleans Tuesday as a one-point road underdog. Lebron James had 23 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, three steals and two blocked shots to pace the winners, who had all five starters score in double figures.

Williamson was spectacular in the losing effort, finishing with 40 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one blocked shot. He made 17-of-27 field-goal attempts and 6-of-9 shots from the free-throw line.

However, with 3:13 remaining, Williamson scored his last bucket of the night but pulled up lame. He went to the locker room and didn’t return with soreness in his left hamstring.

On the bright side for New Orleans, it owns a 5-0 record both straight up and against the spread in five head-to-head meetings with the Kings this year. In fact, the Pelicans went to Sacramento on Jan. 7 and dealt out a 133-100 pimpslap when Williamson wasn’t even in uniform.

Most books had New Orleans installed as a one-point home favorite this morning, but the news of Zion’s official status has prompted most shops to make the Kings 1.5 or two-point road favorites. The total was 214.5 as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Kings will be without Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, who are both out with injuries.

In 70 regular-season games this year before last night’s 40-pound explosion, Williamson averaged 22.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He hit 57.0 percent of his FGAs, 33.3 percent of his treys and 70.2 percent of his free throws.

In 72 games for Sacramento this season, Monk averaged career-highs in both scoring (15.4 PPG) and assists (5.1 APG). He suffered a sprained MCL in late March that’s expected to keep him out until early-to-mid May.

Huerter suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in late March. The sixth-year veteran guard had started 59 of 64 games, averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 APG.