LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-109 for their sixth consecutive victory.
LeBron James had 40 points and eight rebounds in his first career meeting with Zion Williamson. Anthony Davis had 21 points and 14 rebounds to remain unbeaten in his three meetings with his former team this season.
Williamson had 29 points and six rebounds in his first career showdown with James and Davis, his predecessor as the Pelicans' centerpiece. Brandon Ingram had 34 points against his former team, but just six in the final period as New Orleans lost for only the second time in seven games.
Williamson had the most hype leading up to the NBA Draft since James and the two No. 1 overall picks finally met on the court Tuesday night.
Although the two didn't match up head-to-head much, James, in his 17th year in the league, scored a season-high 40 points and led his team to the 8-point victory.
James called Williamson a "special player" after the game.
Williamson did have a good outing. He wasn't timid and wasn't afraid to attack the rim. He got to the free throw line 19 times and scored 29 points.
The Pelicans were in this one until the fourth quarter, but gave up 19 turnovers against the best team in the Western Conference.
It was also Williamson's first match up against former Pelicans star Anthony Davis, who is now 3-0 against his former team.
The Pelicans fall to 25-33 on the season and are 3.5 games back from the eighth place Memphis Grizzlies.