New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Zion Williamson was scratched from the lineup shortly before the club's game against Miami on Thursday night because of a toe injury. Williamson missed just his second game of the season on the same day he was picked to play for Team Durant in Sunday's All-Star Game. Williamson had played in 34 of New Orleans' first 35 games this season, averaging 25.6 points an 7.2 rebounds in a little more than 33 minutes per game.
Zach LaVine capped a 36-point performance with a driving layup and four free throws during the final minute, and the Chicago Bulls held off a late rally to beat the mercurial New Orleans Pelicans 128-124 on Wednesday night. “I’ve got to stay aggressive," LaVine said, noting that he might have been too eager to pass when the Pelicans tightened the game up in the final five minutes. “I feel comfortable taking those free throws at the end of the game,” LaVine added.
Jimmy Butler had 29 points and nine assists, and the Miami Heat took advantage of Zion Williamson's absence to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 103-93 on Thursday night. With a repertoire of strong inside moves and accurate mid-range shooting, Butler made 10 of 14 shots and eight of nine free throws to help the Heat keep the Pelicans at bay.