What they do best is find any way to win.
Hardly playing their best on the second night of a back-to-back, the
Spurs (30-8) got a game-high 27 points from point guard Tony Parker,
including three driving layups in the final six minutes, and
critical 3-pointers from forward Kawhi Leonard and reserve guard
Marco Belinelli to hold off the pesky but outmanned New Orleans
Pelicans 101-95 on Monday night at New Orleans Arena.
It was their fifth consecutive victory.
"They made it hard on us," said Parker, whose soft lob in the lane
over the outstretched arms of Pelicans shot-blocker Anthony Davis
with 43.5 seconds left put San Antonio on top 99-95. "We were in
survive mode in that first half. You have to give them a lot of
credit. They played with a lot of energy and it was hard to get that
It was particularly difficult because the Spurs played the final
6:02 without Duncan, who picked up three fouls in a 62-second span
of the fourth quarter facing off against the younger and more
athletic Davis. It was the first time that Duncan had fouled out of
a regular-season game since Jan. 20, 2010. He went to the bench with
18 points and nine rebounds, and it was tough sitting.
"It definitely was, but honestly, those guys picked up the slack and
they were awesome and made plays," Duncan said. "But it was good
just sitting there and feeling comfortable that we could get it
Duncan exploded for 11 points in the third quarter as San Antonio
erased a 65-55 Pelicans advantage to regain the lead at 76-73 after
three quarters. Parker got the go-ahead bucketm making it 74-73, on
a crossover move that set up a 15-foot jumper.
When Belinelli made a desperation, 31-foot 3-pointer to beat the
shot clock in the fourth quarter, the Spurs led 86-77 with 9:45
Duncan picked up his sixth foul trying to block a driving layup
attempt by guard Eric Gordon with the Spurs (30-8) clinging to an
The Pelicans (15-22), who lost their sixth straight game, closed
within 97-95 on a 5-foot bank shot by point guard Brian Roberts, who
was starting for injured Jrue Holiday and had a season-high 19
But Parker iced the victory with a tough penetration move in the
lane with 43 seconds left, putting the Spurs up 99-95. The Pelicans
failed to score on their final four possessions in the last 1:46.
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Parker's tough driving layup came over Davis' enormous
"I was just trying to be aggressive," Parker said. "I was in
attack mode. When I saw TD go out, I knew I was going to be
aggressive and try to create for myself or for my teammates.
"That shot was one of those shot I like to do it. (Davis) was
coming, but that's my teardrop. I've been doing that for a lot
The Pelicans were led by Davis, who had 22 points and 11
rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season and his fourth
20-10 performance in his last five games.
After Duncan fouled out, Davis said "it was attack."
"I know he's a big key to their team and their scoring, so I
just tried to be as active as I could," Davis said.
New Orleans coach Monty Williams said, "We had our chances, and
we just didn't execute down the stretch. "We had three costly
turnovers in the last few minutes of the game against a team
like that. We had 87 looks tonight — 87 shots. We just need to
put the ball in the basket."
The Pelicans shot just 43.7 percent from the field and the Spurs
made 35 of 67 (52.2 percent). The Spurs missed five of their
first six 3-pointers but closed the fourth quarter by making 4
of 6. San Antonio shot 60 percent fro the field (9 of 15) in the
"They have been in that situation a million times," Pelicans
reserve guard Austin Rivers said. "They go to the finals like
Not quite, but you've seen this movie before. The ending rarely
NOTES: Pelicans F Ryan Anderson, who sustained two herniated
disks in a nasty collision with Celtics F Gerald Wallace in a
Jan. 3 loss to Boston, said he would miss at least two months.
He may need surgery — similar to the operation that Denver
Broncos QB Peyton Manning underwent — if the disks do not
properly heal. Anderson, New Orleans' leading scorer, said he
would get an MRI in two months to determine the pace of healing.
Anderson said the nerve pain in his arm was severe right after
the injury. "I couldn't even put my hands down on the sheets
when I was going to bed," he said. ... The Pelicans also played
without PG Jrue Holiday (stress fracture in right tibia) and SG
Tyreke Evans (sprained left ankle). ... Spurs SG Danny Green
will be sidelined for four weeks with a non-displaced fracture
of his left index finger. Manu Ginobili got the start.
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