Pelicans-Knicks summer league game ends early due to earthquake; Pelicans declared winner | Pelicans

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LAS VEGAS — Frank Jackson wasn’t sure what was happening.

The Pelicans guard was dribbling up the court Friday night when all of a sudden…

“I felt like someone was pushing my hip and I sorta leaned this way,” Jackson said. “I was like “oh my gosh, what’s going on?’ And I saw everything shaking.”

The shaking of the Thomas & Mack Center was caused by the aftershock of the earthquake in California, postponing the Pelicans’ summer league opener against the New York Knicks.

“The decision was based on safety,” said Warren Legare, executive director of the summer league. “It was felt by everyone that it was wiser to suspend this and not continue in this gym this evening until everything is checked and secure. However long it takes for (the engineers) to check and make sure it’s safe, that will happen.”

The Pelicans were leading 80-74 with 7:53 left in the fourth quarter when the tremors were felt throughout the building. 

The game was at first delayed before the NBA then announced it was postponed. Late Friday night, the NBA declared the Pelicans the winner. 

The Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns were scheduled to play after the Pelicans’ games. The NBA said that game has been cancelled. 

The Pelicans are scheduled to play in the Thomas & Mack Center again on Saturday against the Washington Wizards. The NBA also plays summer league games at the Cox Pavillion, located right next door. There are five games scheduled in both venues on Saturday.

Late Friday night, the NBA sent out Saturday’s schedule and it as originally planned.   

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the U.S. Geological Survey found a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in Southern California on Friday night. The USGS said the quake registered about 11 miles from Ridgecrest, California. A 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit the same area at 10:33 a.m. on Thursday. Ridgecrest is 237 miles from Las Vegas.

Legare says there were no reported injuries. Nothing fell inside the arena, although the large speakers hanging from the ceiling were noticebly shaking. 

“From what we know, there was nothing resulting from the tremor that affected anyone,” Legare said. “We haven’t had anything brought to our attention. We probably would have heard by now.”

In Las Vegas, Zion Williamson hype hits fever pitch ahead of summer league debut: ‘Zion is special’

The game, played before a sellout crowd, was the much-anticipated debut of Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson. The first overall pick in the draft finished with 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting. He also grabbed 3 rebounds before sitting out the second half after tweaking his left knee after bumping it into an opposing player in the first half. The injury isn’t expected to be serious, according to a source.

Jackson led the Pelicans with 30 points on 11 0f 17 shooting, including 5 of 9 3-pointers, before the game came to an end.

“That was crazy,” Jackson said. “I’ve never experienced that ever.”

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