• Zion Williamson continues to live up to expectations
  • Williamson joins Michael Jordan in an odd feat
  • Pelicans capture their third straight win

Albeit delayed, Zion Williamson still proves that he is as good as advertised. The New Orleans top rookie has been an immediate impact for the Pelicans since his debut last month, building up his young credentials with rare statistical feats from his skillful play. On Tuesday, the 19-year-old added another one to his record books as he joined Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Dikembe Mutombo as the only players in NBA history to score at least 14 points in each of their first nine games in the league.

It was indeed a night to remember for the highly-touted athlete as he finished with a career-high 31 points to lead the Pelicans to a 138-117 rout of Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers. He also added nine boards and five dimes while stretching his streak of scoring at least 20 points to five games. The record now stands at 5-4 for New Orleans when Williamson plays.

The Pelicans, who are now on a three-game winning streak, are still on the catch-up trail in the race for the Playoffs. They are currently 11th in the West with a 23-31 card but just four and a half games behind eighth-placed Memphis Grizzlies.

Apart from the bizarre milestone mentioned, Williamson also became the fifth player in the past 10 seasons to have at a 30-point game in the first 10 games of his career. He also turned out to be only the third player along with Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill as the players in league history with seven 20-point games in their first 10 career games over the last 30 seasons.

Prior to the match against the Blazers, Williamson had averaged 19.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. And as he continues to heal up from the injury that has sidelined him for 45 games, the best of the former Duke University is seen as reserved waiting to be unleashed.

The duration of his absence might have already denied him of the Rookie of the Year award. But as Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report put it, Williamson remains as the best player of the recent draft class with a promising superstar career ahead of him.

Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts after making a three-point shot against the San Antonio Spurs at Smoothie King Center on January 22, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chris Graythen/Getty Images