Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Spurs - February 3, 2014

Pelicans vs. Spurs Game Preview

Exactly three weeks after the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs played a tightly-contested game in the Crescent City, the Southwest Division members meet again Monday night on the same hardwood. San Antonio posted a 101-95 victory over New Orleans on Jan. 13, capping the game with a 10-4 run after leading 91-90 late in the fourth quarter. The Pelicans were up 87-86 midway through the period, but the Spurs made several big shots in crunch time. New Orleans only had 10 players available; of that group, five were either rookies or second-year pros.

“We don’t like moral victories, but we came out and competed from the start,” said Pelicans starting point guard Brian Roberts (19 points, 3-for-5 on treys), who has been filling in for the injured Jrue Holiday. “I think we made it known that (the Spurs) were going to be in for a game. Unfortunately, they made plays down the stretch. They’re a veteran team. They’re going to keep their composure through those stretches. Hats off to them. It was good to get out there and compete.”

Part of a spectacular month of January individually, Anthony Davis had a 22-point, 11-rebound game against the Spurs on Jan. 13. Davis has responded well to the huge responsibility of having to carry the New Orleans offense and defense, with several key players sidelined, including Ryan Anderson. Anderson (19.8 points per game) was the team’s leading scorer in 2013-14 when he was injured Jan. 3 at Boston, but Davis has since surpassed him in scoring average.

San Antonio is trying to improve to 3-0 on the season vs. New Orleans, having also defeated the Pelicans in the Alamo City on Nov. 25 by a 112-93 margin. Seven different Spurs players scored double digits in their home win, led by Manu Ginobili’s 16 points off the bench.

Pelicans Anthony Davis
Intriguing matchup: Power forward
Anthony Davis vs. Tim Duncan
One of the veteran players Davis has sometimes been compared to, the 37-year-old Duncan has never been as athletic as the 20-year-old Davis, but he possesses a vast skill set that led to Duncan being nicknamed “The Big Fundamental” by Shaquille O’Neal. Both players are intimidating on defense, with Davis leading the NBA this season in blocks and Duncan averaging about two rejections per game.
Spurs Tim Duncan