Things got tense as the final buzzer sounded during Friday night’s game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns. With less than five seconds remaining and the game already decided, Zion Williams put an exclamation point on a Pelicans home win with a 360 windmill dunk, which led to both teams and benches exchanging pleasantries before walking off the court.
A number of players on the Suns took umbrage with the dunk, which capped off a dominant, 35-point evening for the former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick. It appears that Suns guard Chris Paul and Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado had to be separated by New Orleans coach Willie Green, who joined the team after serving as an assistant in Phoenix. The coaches, officials, and a number of players attempted to separate both sides, which met at midcourt.
Eventually, the teams made their way into their respective locker rooms, with several Pelicans players engaging with a fired up home crowd.
These two teams have some history with one another, as an upstart New Orleans squad that did not have Williamson pushed a Paul-less Suns side to six games in the first round of the playoffs last year. They will not have to wait long until they see one another again, as the two teams will run it back in New Orleans on Sunday.