Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

Williamson out indefinite­ly with fractured finger


New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson is out indefinite­ly with a fractured left finger, a major blow to the Pelicans’ run at a Western Conference play-in spot.

The 20-year-old forward averaged 27 points and 7.2 rebounds in 61 games, and the injury comes before the Pelicans opened a five-game trip against certain or potential playoff teams. The Pelicans made the announceme­nt Friday before they played the Eastern Conference­leading Philadelph­ia 76ers.

The Pelicans said a timetable for Williamson’s return would be determined upon further evaluation.

He appeared to hurt the finger trying to grab a rebound Tuesday against Golden State. Pelicans vice president of basketball David Griffin ripped the NBA and its officiatin­g for not doing more to protect their franchise player.

“I’m really frustrated because this was avoidable,” he said. “... Quite frankly, he’s injured now because of the open season that there’s been on Zion Williamson in the paint.”

San Antonio’s recent five-game losing streak helped the Pelicans pull within 1 ½ games of the final Western Conference play-in spot with six games to go.

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