Zion's night ends with late injury in Pelicans' loss to Lakers

Zion drops 40 points, exits with possible injury in loss (1:42)

Zion Williamson goes off for 40 points in the loss to the Lakers, and exits late in the 4th quarter with a possible injury. (1:42)

NEW ORLEANS -- Toward the end of one of the best games of his young career, Zion Williamson grabbed a towel and flung it down at the New Orleans Pelicans' bench.

With 3:13 left and the Pelicans attempting a furious comeback, Williamson's night was over, the frustrating result of a left leg injury.

Williamson had 40 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists and had just tied the score at 95-95 with a layup against Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham called a timeout, but as Williamson walked to the Pelicans' bench area, something was off. He briefly sat down, threw the towel and walked back into the tunnel, ending his night.

With Williamson out of the equation, the Pelicans couldn't hang on and the Lakers left the Smoothie King Center with a 110-106 victory and the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

The Pelicans will face the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, but Williamson's status is unclear. Following the loss to the Lakers, Williamson was seen walking around without any wraps on his leg and didn't appear to have a limp when he left the locker room.

"Right now, it's left leg soreness and he's going to get imaging on it tomorrow," Pelicans coach Willie Green said after the game. "We will figure out more. That's the report I got back. I haven't talked to him. But we'll see what happens tomorrow when we get the results back."

Williamson played in a career-high 71 games this season and was playing in his first non-regular-season game of his young career. He missed the Pelicans' two play-in games in 2022 because of injury as well as their playoff series that year. He also sat out the team's play-in game last season because of an injury.

After just 12 points in a Sunday loss to the Lakers to send New Orleans to the play-in game itself, Williamson crossed that mark in the first quarter alone. His 40 points would have been a season high, and he had never had a 40-point, 10-rebound game in his career.

"That was everything that you could have hoped from Z," Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. said. "He gave us everything. He was incredible tonight. You can't ask for more from that kid. He was unbelievable."

Said Green: "It was tough to see him go down. We are all praying and hoping he is OK. He was battling. He was going. The team was right there with him. It's tough. We'll see what happens and go from there."