featured-image
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket during the game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 129, Spurs 110

Pelicans (11-7), Spurs (6-13)

Zion Williamson delivered major damage in the paint, Devonte’ Graham bombed in shots from the outside and Jonas Valanciunas did a little of both Wednesday, leading New Orleans to a one-sided road win in San Antonio. The Pelicans handled business quickly before traveling back to the Crescent City for Thanksgiving festivities, going up by double digits in the opening quarter and building a 66-47 halftime edge. New Orleans went over the 100-point mark by the end of the third period, notching a second straight blowout victory over a Western Conference opponent. Williamson racked up 30 of his 32 points in the first three quarters, while Graham drilled five three-pointers in the opening half and finished with six treys among his 21 points. Valanciunas added four long balls, scoring 17 first-half points and finishing with 22.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Jose Alvarado swished a right-wing three-pointer to give New Orleans a 110-87 lead, its biggest of the night to that stage, with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation. The Pelicans put it away by scoring six of the first eight points in the fourth quarter.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Williamson was a force to be reckoned with from the jump, scoring progressively more each period, with eight, nine and 13 in the first three quarters, before getting to sit out for much of the fourth. He was a layup machine, spinning around San Antonio defenders off of post-ups, or dribbling in and around Spurs from 18-20 feet out and rising all the way to the rim. Asked if he’s starting to feel like himself physically on the court after the year-plus layoff he endured, Williamson pointed to Monday’s game vs. Golden State, saying, “defensively, I’m starting to find my movements and feeling the game out, really seeing the game. I was happy about last game. This game, it kind of trickled over to my offense.”

Zion Williamson (32 points) Highlights vs. San Antonio Spurs 11/23/2022

BY THE NUMBERS

11: Consecutive made shots from the field by Williamson over the final three quarters.
14/33: New Orleans three-point shooting, continuing a recent trend of this category being a big plus for the Pelicans on a regular basis.
56.6: Pelicans shooting from the field. Two of the team’s top three games of the season in this category have taken place in the last two outings (the season high remains 57.9 percent vs. Dallas on Oct. 25).

REVISITING FANDUEL KEYS TO THE GAME

THANKSGIVING (EVE) DISHES
Another superb night in dishing assists. New Orleans had 19 at halftime and finished with 33. Thirty is generally considered a very good night by a team. Brandon Ingram led the way individually with 10 dimes, one more than Alvarado’s nine assists.

EVERYBODY EATS
Two nights after 13 different Pelicans players scored in the home win vs. Golden State, all 12 New Orleans players who saw action scored in a road win at San Antonio.

STUFFING (THE PAINT) IN SAN ANTONE
San Antonio actually surprisingly won rebounding 25-23 in the first half, but New Orleans took over in the latter half and finished with a 52-47 edge. It helped the Spurs that starting center Jakob Poeltl (14 rebounds) played, after he’s missed games recently due to injury.

#WESTERNCONFERENCEWEDNESDAY

Who’s the best team in the West through five-plus weeks of the regular season? That’s difficult to answer, but perhaps the Phoenix Suns – who went to the NBA Finals in 2021 and sported the NBA’s top record with 64 wins last season – can make the best case. They entered Wednesday’s action ranked No. 1 in net rating and were in first place in the standings, albeit by a narrow margin. Fans voted for Phoenix among four options as the West’s best club so far, casting 42 percent of Twitter ballots to the Suns (surprising Utah was next at 31 percent, followed by surging Sacramento’s 25 percent).

Devonte' Graham (21 points) Highlights vs. San Antonio Spurs 11/23/2022