Postgame recap: Pelicans 121, Spurs 116

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

BOXSCORE || PHOTOS || QUOTES || VIDEOS

Pelicans (35-26), Spurs (36-26)

SAN ANTONIO – New Orleans trailed by double figures yet again Wednesday, but the Pelicans have proven that being behind on the scoreboard is nothing they can’t overcome. San Antonio built a 15-point lead, but the visitors roared back en route to a dramatic road win, their seventh straight victory. Once again, the Pelicans made more key plays during crunch time to overtake the opposition. Anthony Davis sealed the comeback victory by collecting a crucial offensive rebound off a missed free throw, allowing New Orleans to stun a capacity crowd in AT&T Center. The Pelicans won on San Antonio's home floor for just the fifth time in 29 visits.

The Pelicans, who are in fifth place in the Western Conference, have won three times in a row after trailing by 10 points or more, rallying to beat Milwaukee, Phoenix and San Antonio, all since Sunday. Their other victory since the All-Star break came Friday vs. Miami, which held a nine-point lead in the Smoothie King Center prior to New Orleans surging to win an overtime thriller.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Davis sank a pair of free throws with 3.4 seconds left, giving New Orleans a two-possession advantage. With the Pelicans leading by a point, Jrue Holiday went to the foul line but missed both free throws; no problem, because Davis fought through multiple Spurs to collect the ball and draw another foul. Davis canned the two tries for a 119-116 edge. San Antonio then misfired on three-point attempts from Patty Mills and Rudy Gay, with Davis tracking down the board off Gay’s miss.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Holiday compiled his seventh consecutive game of 20-plus points, keeping hope alive in several sequences Wednesday when it looked like San Antonio was about to put the game on ice. Although he did miss free throws in a critical spot, those were very rare mistakes on a night when the guard shot 11/18 from the field and registered 25 points. Holiday was the individual headliner for New Orleans, but just one of numerous Pelicans who factored into the win. Seven different players reached double digits in points, including Rajon Rondo’s double-double of 13 points and 12 assists. E’Twaun Moore, Ian Clark and Darius Miller all connected on big shots in the fourth quarter, when New Orleans erased an eight-point deficit by outscoring San Antonio 34-21.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“We’re battling for all four quarters. We never think we’re out of any game. We’re going to keep fighting and just keep playing for each other.” – Davis on the Pelicans’ mentality that has helped them prevail in numerous comeback situations and tight fourth quarters

“I just thought we made plays down the stretch. Jrue made a bunch of plays. Obviously AD’s rebound off a foul shot miss was huge. I just told the guys if we keep battling, something good is going to happen.” – Alvin Gentry on New Orleans delivering in critical moments

“We’ve got to try not to get down double digits, but it’s good that we’re able to fight back, and we continue to play. I think we keep our poise and we don’t panic. But I would much rather not be playing from double figures down.” – Gentry on the good and bad sides of frequently rallying from behind recently

“That’s what Anthony’s for. I was never worried.” – Holiday wryly responding to a San Antonio reporter’s question about whether he was relieved that his missed free throws didn’t cost New Orleans the game

“The mental focus coming into games, being able to lock in even when we have bad halves, it just shows a lot about our progress.” – Holiday on one reason New Orleans has been much more successful in tight spots this season, compared to previous years

BY THE NUMBERS

70: Second-half points for New Orleans. Davis led the Pelicans with 16 of his 26 points, while Moore dropped in 15 and Holiday added 12. San Antonio was up 60-51 at halftime.

37:59: Game-high minutes played by Moore, who logged 22 in the second half and shot 7/11 from the field. The Pelicans were able to keep Davis at 37:01 and Holiday at 36:29.

17/32: Shooting from the field by New Orleans’ bench. All five subs who entered the game made at least half of their attempts, led by Nikola Mirotic’s 5/9 outing.

Pelicans at Spurs Postgame: Alvin Gentry 02-28-18

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry talks about the team's turnaround in the second half against the Spurs.

Game 61: Pelicans at Spurs 2/28/18

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

Pelicans at Spurs Postgame: Alvin Gentry 02-28-18

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry talks about the team's turnaround in the second half against the Spurs.
Feb 28, 2018  |  05:26

Pelicans at Spurs Postgame: Jrue Holiday 02-28-18

Pelicans Jrue Holiday talks about the team's performance in the win against the Spurs on the road.
Feb 28, 2018  |  02:52

Pelicans at Spurs Postgame: Anthony Davis 02-28-18

Pelicans Anthony Davis talks about the balanced effort in the Pelicans win over the Spurs.
Feb 28, 2018  |  02:51

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 121, Spurs 116

Anthony Davis' double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds leads all scorers as the Pelicans get the 121-116 win over the Spurs.
Feb 28, 2018  |  02:03

On-Court Postgame Interview: Jrue Holiday at Spurs

Pelicans Jrue Holiday talks with Fox Sports New Orleans Jen Hale about the team's fourth quarter surge to continue the win streak.
Feb 28, 2018  |  01:34

Anthony Davis Scores 26 vs. Spurs | February 28, 2018

Anthony Davis grabs a double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds in the Pelicans win over the Spurs.
Feb 28, 2018  |  01:56

Jrue Holiday Scores 25 vs. Spurs | February 28, 2018

Jrue Holiday scores 25 points and grabs 4 rebounds as the Pelicans defeat the Spurs.
Feb 28, 2018  |  02:00

Moore Hits the Clutch Triple

Pelicans E'Twaun Moore comes up in the clutch, knocking down the fourth quarter, go-ahead triple.
Feb 28, 2018  |  00:10

Jrue's Nifty Moves

Pelicans Jrue Holiday drives and scores against the Spurs.
Feb 28, 2018  |  00:16

Darius Miller Goes Up Strong

Pelicans Darius Miller goes hard to the rim and splits the defenders for the bucket.
Feb 28, 2018  |  00:19

Anthony Davis slams baseline alley-oop

Pelicans Anthony Davis cuts behind the defense for the backdoor alley-oop from Rajon Rondo.
Feb 28, 2018  |  00:09

Holiday And-One Layup

Jrue Holiday cuts inside to sink the and-one layup.
Feb 28, 2018  |  00:16

Diallo Block and Slam

Pelicans Cheick Diallo gets it done on both ends of the floor with the block and fast break slam.
Feb 28, 2018  |  00:20

Nikola Finishes Down the Lane

Pelicans Nikola Mirotic drive to the rim and banks in the pass from Jrue Holiday.
Feb 28, 2018  |  00:09

Rondo Crosses For The Layup

Rajon Rondo crosses his way inside and scoops in the layup.
Feb 28, 2018  |  00:15