Basketball / NBA

Zion Williamson soars in his first NBA preseason game

AP

Showing off the high-flying talents that made him one of the most anticipated rookies in years, Williamson turned in a ferocious slam less than two minutes into his debut with the New Orleans Pelicans and dunked it two more times before the first half was done against the Atlanta Hawks.

“This isn’t high school or college anymore,” Williamson said. “You’ve got to go up strong. So I went up strong and I was able to finish.”

It was quite the close-range repertoire.

One with the right hand.

One with the left hand.

One with both hands.

Williamson finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, helping the Pelicans to a 133-109 victory over the Hawks before a much larger crowd — announced at 15,441 — than what normally be expected in Atlanta for a weeknight exhibition between two teams that failed to make the playoffs last season.

“I didn’t expect that many people to come,” Williamson said.

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