Spurs vs. Pelicans: Game Recap
By Ian Smith
A sloppy first half wasn’t enough to deny the Spurs another home win in their record-breaking season.
Spurs vs. Pelicans featured a mixture of efficient and cringeworthy basketball. A severely wounded Pelicans team came out strong and challenged the Spurs in the 1st quarter. Both teams shot well at the beginning, with the Pelicans hitting seemingly every 3 they took, thanks in large part to point guard Toney Douglas.
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On the Spurs side, Tony Parker didn’t attempt a single shot in the first quarter, but his backcourt mate Danny Green contributed an early scoring barrage. Boris Diaw also provided solid support off the bench.
The Pelicans got an early spark from Douglas and Alex Ajinca, who has been getting added playing time after Anthony Davis’s injury.
The 2nd quarter, conversely, was filled with putrid shooting from both sides. At one point, both teams were shooting under 38% from the field. The Pelicans were saved by their high 3 point percentage, but shot a low percentage from everywhere else, including their free throws.
Parker, Tim Duncan, and LaMarcus Aldridge combined to shoot 1-11 from the field in the first half. It’s a testament to how well Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili played in the first half that they were able to build a slight lead. Leonard had 12 at the half and Ginobili had 11 points in 12 minutes off the bench. Neither team scored more than 20 points in the 2nd quarter.
Mar 30, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Douglas was the most impressive player for the Pelicans in the first half, scoring 12 points and shooting 4-5 on 3 pointers. Clearly missing Anthony Davis, the Pelicans managed no blocks the entire game, although they were able to gain a slight rebounding advantage.
The third quarter was when the Spurs began to play more smoothly. They pulled away to a comfortable 18 point advantage after 3 quarters, lead primarily by Leonard and Green.
The Spurs were outscored by 10 in the 4th quarter, but hung onto the win to keep the home streak alive. They improve to 63-12, and 38-0 at home.
Both teams were able to recover from the rough 2nd quarter to finish with good shooting performances. Each team finished the game above 45% from the field and above 47% from deep. Ginobili lead the Spurs with 20 points off the bench. Ajinca lead the Pelicans with 18 points.
The only Spurs player to log more more than 30 minutes was Aldridge. This was a great outcome for the Spurs: they won the game without over-exerting their stars.