It’s been a little over a month since DeMarcus Cousins went down with a season-ending Achilles injury in a game against the Houston Rockets, leaving the Pelicans in a state of wonder. But honestly, you wouldn’t be able to tell as they are currently on a six-game winning streak, hoping to grab a seventh straight victory against the San Antonio Spurs in Texas. The Spurs, on the other hand, are coming fresh off of a 110-94 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Pelicans and the Spurs have battled each other a grand total of 64 times as the Spurs won 46 games while the Pelicans were limited to just 18 victories. This game will mark the second of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season. The last time they played each other was on November 22 when the New Orleans team walked away with a 107 to 90 win. During that game, Anthony Davis scored 29 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished off 4 assists, and came away with one steal while Rudy Gay finished with 19 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and one steal.
New Orleans Pelicans:
Alexis Ajinca (knee)
DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles; 25.2 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 47.0 FG%, 35.4 3P%)
Solomon Hill (hamstring)
Frank Jackson (foot)
DeAndre Liggins (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.9 APG, 41.0 FG%, 35.6 3P%)
Charles Cooke (G-League; 0.7 PPG, 0.1 RPG, 0.1 APG, 20.0 FG%, 16.7 3P%)
San Antonio Spurs:
Pau Gasol (knee; 10.7 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, 46.4 FG%, 39.8 3P%)
Kawhi Leonard (quadricep; 16.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 46.8 FG%, 31.4 3P%)
Brandon Paul (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.7 APG, 44.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
Derrick White (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, 48.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Matt Costello (G-League; 0.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 33.3 FG%)
Darrun Hilliard (G-League; 1.1 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.8 APG, 26.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
The San Antonio Spurs would have control of the game at the beginning as they shot fifty-two percent from the field while the New Orleans Pelicans ended up shooting forty-six percent. Manu Ginobili, who is in conversation for this season’s Sixth Man of the Year Award, scored 13 points off of the bench, which included a three-pointer at the end of the second quarter. Dejounte Murray helped out with 11 points, as well as 5 rebounds, one assist, and one block. Patty Mills had nine points and two assists while LaMarcus Aldridge earned himself 8 points and 3 rebounds. Danny Green played 12 minutes off of the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer.
On the other end of the court, Jrue Holiday chalked up 13 points with one three-pointer near the end of the first quarter. Anthony Davis did what he usually does and dropped 10 points while grabbing eight rebounds and coming up with one steal. Rajon Rondo contributed with 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists while Nikola Mirotic had eight points off of the bench. The 2004-2005 Rookie of the Year Emeka Okafor was kept scoreless while E’Twaun Moore had two points. Darius Miller played the most minutes off of the bench but was held to just a three-pointer while the Spurs went into halftime with a 60-51 lead.
The visiting team, however, would bounce back in the second half as they sparked up a 70 to 56 run, shooting fifty-five percent from the field. During that run, Davis added to his scoring total by putting up 16 more points, along with seven rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Moore would make up for his first half performance by earning himself 15 points on sixty-four percent shooting. Holiday helped out with 12 points, which included a three-pointer in the middle of the third quarter. As for the Spurs, Rudy Gay got hot for 17 points but it wouldn’t be enough as the Pelicans hold on to capture a 121-116 victory. Anthony Davis finished the game with 26 points, 15 rebounds, one assist, and 2 steals while Rudy Gay settled for 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, one steal, and 3 blocks.
The New Orleans Pelicans will stay in Texas as they battle Harrison Barnes (18.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 45 FG%) and the Dallas Mavericks (19-42) on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. This matchup will mark the third of four games that these two teams will play against each other this season. The Pelicans and the Mavericks have clashed with each other a total of 62 times in the past as the Pelicans won 21 games while the Mavericks went on to pull out 41 wins. December 29 was the last time that met up as the Texas team snuck away with a 128 to 120 win. Dennis Smith finished that game with 21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and one steal while Anthony Davis had 33 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.
The San Antonio Spurs will also stay in Texas as they host Brandon Ingram (16.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.8 APG, 47 FG%) and the Los Angeles Lakers (26-34) on Saturday at 9:00 p.m. This game will mark the second of three times that the Spurs and Lakers will battle each other this season. They have fought each other a grand total of 221 times as the Lakers won 113 games while the Spurs were limited to 108 wins. The last time they saw each other was on January 11 when the Lakers handed the Spurs a 93 to 81 loss. During that game, Brandon Ingram had 26 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and one steal while LaMarcus Aldridge settled for 20 points, 4 rebounds, one assist, and one block.