Zion Williamson of the Pelicans scores on a dunk in the second half Wednesday night against Detroit at New Orleans. Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Zion Williamson scored 32 points in his first game since being named a first-time All-Star, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons 128-118 on Wednesday night.

Highlighting his performance with quick dribbling spin moves to elude multiple converging defenders in the paint and set up short floaters and layups, or with thunderous one-handed dunks on cuts down the lane or along the baseline, Williamson made 13 of 18 shots in reaching the 30-point threshold for the eighth time this season.

Brandon Ingram added 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for New Orleans, which trailed most of the first three quarters before edging in front in the fourth quarter, thwarting the Pistons’ bid to win two road games in consecutive nights. Steven Adams scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in his first action since missing two games with a sore right ankle. His putback gave the Pelicans a 121-111 lead with 2:15 left.

Josh Jackson scored 25, and Mason Plumlee added 21 points for Detroit, which led by 10 in the first half and nine in the third quarter..

WARRIORS 110, PACERS 107: Stephen Curry scored 24 points, Draymond Green fell just short of a triple-double and weary Golden State beat host Indiana.

Green had 12 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals. The Warriors took control with a late 6-0 run to seal their second straight victory on a four-game trip.

Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers with 24 points, and Domantas Sabonis had 22 points and 16 rebounds for his his 24th double-double of the season.

CAVALIERS 112, ROCKETS 96: Jarrett Allen tied his career high with 26 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked four shots as Cleveland pulled away against Houston, which lost its ninth straight.

Allen, who leads the NBA making 67.2% of his field goals, made 10 of 11 shots from the floor as Cleveland won for the second straight evening after dropping its previous 10 contests.

John Wall scored 20 points and Victor Oladipo had 17 points and six rebounds in his return from a strained right foot for Houston.

HEAT 116, RAPTORS 108: Jimmy Butler scored 27 points, 14 of them in the final quarter, and host Miami won its fourth straight.

Butler also had 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Heat, plus a season-high three 3-pointers – two of them in the final minutes. Bam Adebayo had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, Duncan Robinson added 17 points and Goran Dragic scored 15 in his return from an ankle injury.

It was the eighth win in the last 11 games for the Heat, who started the season 7-14.

Kyle Lowry, returning from a thumb injury, scored 24 for Toronto.

THUNDER 102, SPURS 99: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 42 points and Lu Dort hit a 3-pointer as time expired to give Oklahoma City a win at home.

San Antonio turned the ball over with 3.9 seconds remaining, giving Oklahoma City the ball with the score tied. Dort’s corner 3-pointer dropped as the buzzer sounded, and his teammates mobbed him.

BULLS 133, TIMBERWOLVES 126: Zach LaVine celebrated his first All-Star selection with 35 points against his original NBA team, helping host Chicago win in overtime.

Chicago shot 59% from the field and had seven players score in double figures during its fifth win in six games. Coby White had 20 points, and Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

LaVine, named an All-Star reserve Tuesday night, made 14 of 21 shots in his 16th game this season with at least 30 points. The dynamic guard was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2014 draft and spent three seasons with the Timberwolves before he was traded to the Bulls in June 2017.

Minnesota lost for the 10th time in 11 games despite a gutsy second-half rally while playing for the second straight night.

NOTES

ROCKETS: The Houston Rockets have released DeMarcus Cousins after just 25 games.

Cousins was waived this week after signing a $2.3 million contract with Houston in the offseason. He returned to the court this season after missing all of last season while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.

The 30-year-old Cousins was averaging 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds this season playing in a reserve role.

The four-time All-Star has averaged 20.8 points and 10.7 rebounds in an 11-year career in which he also played with Sacramento, New Orleans and Golden State.

TIMBERWOLVES: The leadership of the National Basketball Coaches Association spoke out Wednesday about its “concern and level of disappointment” with the way the Minnesota Timberwolves went about their coaching change earlier this week.

The statement came from NBCA president Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks and NBCA executive director David Fogel.

“The NBCA understands and respects each organization’s right to hire and fire whomever and whenever it chooses,” said their statement, first released only to ESPN before being distributed to other outlets. “But it is also our responsibility to point out when an organization fails to conduct a thorough and transparent search of candidates from a wide range of diverse backgrounds.”

The Timberwolves fired Ryan Saunders on Sunday night and struck a deal to hire Toronto assistant Chris Finch almost immediately. Finch was formally announced as the coach Monday morning.

“There were other candidates, minority candidates we considered at this time,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “Unfortunately when you’re in the middle of a season, you’re really at the mercy of teams in terms of who can become available and who’s not available. That was a challenge for us as we went through the process.”

Minnesota lost at Milwaukee on Tuesday night in Finch’s first game. The Wolves were in Chicago to play on Wednesday night.

Timberwolves assistant David Vanterpool has support from several NBA players, many of whom expressed anger that he did not get the job or, at minimum, the appearance of being considered for the role. Vanterpool is Black. Finch is white.

“During this past offseason, we saw many NBA head coaching vacancies where teams led searches that were both diverse and transparent,” Fogel and Carlisle wrote in their statement. “This must be the standard. We must establish a level playing field and equal access to opportunity for all coaching candidates.”

HEAT: Miami’s depleted backcourt might get reinforcements when the team returns from a seven-game road trip to play Toronto on Wednesday.

Guard Goran Dragic (left ankle sprain) has been upgraded from out to questionable. Guard Tyler Herro (right hip contusion) and power forward Chris Silva (left hip flexor strain) also are questionable. Guard Avery Bradley (right calf strain) remains out.

Dragic has missed nine consecutive games since spraining his ankle Feb. 5 against Washington. Herro sustained the hip injury during Saturday’s game against the Lakers and missed Monday’s win at Oklahoma City, the ninth game he has missed this season.

Bradley has missed 10 games in a row and last appeared in a game Feb. 3.

ALL-STAR GAME: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was selected to replace injured Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis in the NBA All-Star Game.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver choose Booker to take Davis’ spot a day after Booker was snubbed by the league’s head coaches for a reserve spot in the March 7 game in Atlanta.

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