The San Antonio Spurs snapped a two-game skid with a 126-114 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on the road last night.
Though the San Antonio Spurs were without DeMar DeRozan and Davis Bertans, their depth gave them a key advantage over New Orleans. Both teams found themselves undermanned coming into the divisional showdown, but ultimately the absence of Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle proved too much for the Pels to overcome.
San Antonio capitalized on their low-volume, high-efficiency long distance shooting and cut down on their recent turnover troubles. The Spurs converted on 45.8% of their 24 three-point attempts and coughed up the rock just 9 times all game.
The Spurs relied heavily on LaMarcus Aldridge to carry the offense and the big man thrived without a rim protector to patrol the paint. Despite entering the night as questionable with a sore wrist, LA managed to drop a team-high 28 points and 12 boards on the way to racking up his 15th double-double of the season.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 27, 2019
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Rudy Gay chipped in 22 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double of his own before an injury scare in the final frame forced him out of the game. The combo forward came down awkwardly on his left ankle but expects to play Sunday against the Washington Wizards.
Derrick White put together another well-rounded performance and stuffed the stat sheet on both ends of the floor. The crafty second-year guard finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.
The Spurs built a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Pelicans gave San Antonio cause for pause with a scoring surge in garbage time. While Coach Popovich likely entertained the idea of rolling back out the starters, he showed restraint and allowed the second unit to close out the contest.
Pop trusted in his bench to seal the deal, and Patty Mills and crew rose to the occasion. Five players scored at least 6 points off the pine and even talented rookie Lonnie Walker IV had a chance to shine.
Walker ended his second professional outing with a career-high 7 points on 3-of-6 shooting in a little over 15 minutes of action. Although the kid from Reading, Pennsylvania looked lost at times, he flashed the immense upside that convinced the Spurs to take him with the 18th overall pick of the most recent draft.
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The Silver and Black will have a great opportunity to kick off their 4 game homestand with what should be an easy dub. With that said, the Spurs are 2-6 in back to backs this season so we’ll just have to wait and see how they respond to limited rest.