Pelicans.com postgame: Spurs 112, Pelicans 93
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
SAN ANTONIO – During one second-quarter sequence Monday, the New Orleans Pelicans kept scrapping and outhustling the San Antonio Spurs for offensive rebounds, but repeatedly missed shots at the rim. After several point-blank New Orleans misfires, San Antonio finally gathered in possession, then methodically pushed the ball to the other end for an easy basket. It was a scenario that played out repeatedly in a one-sided Southwest Division matchup.
Needing to play outstanding basketball for 48 minutes to have a chance to post a rare road win in the Alamo City, New Orleans instead compiled one of its worst offensive performances of 2013-14. The Pelicans were an abysmal 38.1 percent from the field, including going just 22-for-53 in the paint. That combination helped bring an end to a three-game winning streak for New Orleans (6-7), while propelling San Antonio (13-1) to its 11th consecutive victory.
“We got to the basket really well,” said Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday, who threatened a triple-double that would’ve prompted little celebration with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. “We got some wide-open shots, but we just didn’t knock them down. It happens. Sometimes you go in there and it’s not falling, even at the rim. I know I had a point-blank one at the end of the first half that I should’ve (converted). Sometimes it happens.”
The defending Western Conference champion Spurs don’t need much help from the opposition these days to roll to victories, but the Pelicans cooperated with a subpar opening half. San Antonio took a 57-40 lead into the locker room based partly on a significant shooting edge. The Spurs nailed the majority of their open perimeter shots during a 30-16 second quarter.
With a total of seven players reaching double digits in points, San Antonio stretched its lead to 91-65 through three periods. The Spurs were up by as many as 32 prior to the Pelicans cutting into the final margin with a 28-21 fourth period.
On an otherwise rough offensive night for the visitors, Ryan Anderson led New Orleans with 17 points, including 10 in the second half. Austin Rivers produced eight of his 10 points after intermission.
New Orleans won't have long to mull the loss to San Antonio, with a Tuesday home game against Golden State on the schedule. The Pelicans are now 1-5 on the road, but have won four straight at home and are 5-2 in the New Orleans Arena.
"We'll bounce back from this. We've got another game (Tuesday)," Pelicans center Jason Smith said. "We'll come back tomorrow and be ready to compete."