It looked like a bright start for the San Antonio Spurs, but three quarters remained. The New Orleans Pelicans took over and won, 107-90.
The Spurs had a red-hot start to the game, getting up 17-2 on the Pelicans. Behind two Pau Gasol 3-pointers, it stretched the lead and, by the end of the first quarter, had them up by double-digits. There was the potential to blow this game open, until the second quarter hit.
DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis arrived for New Orleans, forcing their will in the paint and combining for 29 points and 15 rebounds by halftime. They contributed toward a 9-0 run that put the home team in the lead, something that looked far away about 30 minutes earlier.
The Spurs were receiving good looks, as well, but nothing was falling. Once the opportunities faded, they began to turn the ball over and give the Pelicans easy points. The sloppy play led to just 13 points for the Silver and Black in the second quarter, while allowing 31 and falling behind, 50-42.
The third quarter proved to be disastrous, with the Spurs scoring just 17. That was while New Orleans threw 37 on the board, pushing the lead from 8 to 28 points. Attribute this to LaMarcus Aldridge picking up his fourth foul, and missing the remaining six minutes of the quarter. That’s when the Pelicans took off and blew this game open.
To no surprise, this was due to the play of Davis and Cousins. They took advantage of the weakened Spurs frontcourt and found little issue getting to the rim. Attribute it to the lack of lead-scoring threats behind Aldridge, too. Aside from him and the injured Kawhi Leonard, they don’t have anyone that can take over a game and end a scoring drought. This should have been Rudy Gay, but he’s not that player.
— Air Alamo (@AirAlamo) November 23, 2017
- Remember when the Spurs had a 17-2 lead to open the game? Good times. Twitter user @willy04 provided what turned out to be a prophetic tweet, when the lead was 13.
I dont like early double digit leads
— Wil.Clark (@willy04) November 23, 2017
- Aldridge and Gasol actually played well, despite this large differential. They combined for 33 points and 13 rebounds on 14-for-25 shooting. Unfortunately, it was a struggle for just about everyone else.
- Danny Green was invisible in this game. He shot 0-5 from the field in just 18 minutes. It’s an anomaly but an ugly one.
- Speaking of invisibility, Joffrey Lauvergne, Bryn Forbes and Manu Ginobili all played double-digit minutes and were rarely heard from.
- Aldridge’s fourth foul in the third quarter was the dagger. Lauvergne and Gasol couldn’t contain the highly-athletic, supremely-talented, backcourt duo of Davis and Cousins. They attacked the paint and contributed to a 50-36 difference in Points in the Paint. Ouch. This was at 20 points when the best players were in.
The Spurs return on Saturday, Nov. 25, with a game against the Charlotte Hornets.