The Atlanta Hawks raised the curtain on their 2019-2020 campaign as they hosted the New Orleans Pelicans at State Farm Arena. Arriving with the Pelicans was 6’7″ Zion Williamson, who was the star attraction on a Monday night in downtown Atlanta. The former Duke star didn’t disappoint as he scored 16 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out three assists as the Pelicans downed the Hawks 133-109 in front of 15,441.

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

Normally that would be the case for a run-of-the-mill NBA preseason game but Zion knew he was the main attraction.

“You know me,” he said, breaking into a big smile. “It was a lot of fun. The first NBA game. It’s not going to count against the record. But the first one of hopefully many. I’m glad I could get that one under my belt.”

Meanwhile, DeAndre’ Benbry led the Hawks with 16 points as seven Atlanta players were in double figures. John Collins added 13 points in 21 minutes and the other rookie from Duke, Cam Reddish, notched 11 points in 15 minutes.

Leader and point guard Trae Young had nine points and eleven assists in 26 minutes.

The pace of play was fast, as the Hawks hoisted 41 three point attempts, only converting on 14 (34.1%).


New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) scores during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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