Pelicans Poor Execution In Final Minutes Leads To Loss Vs Spurs
New Orleans was tied with San Antonio at 86 with 2:42 left in regulation. The Pelicans didn't score again. Anthony Davis didn't attempt a shot, and the Spurs finished off a 20-5 run to end the game, winning in New Orleans by the score of 94-86.
It was over when Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard nailed a three pointer with 35 seconds left, giving San Antonio an 8 point lead. However, it felt over as soon as the Spurs took a late lead.
Poor execution down the stretch has cost the Pelicans many games this season. Thursday night was no exception.
"For the most part, I thought we competed at a really, really high level and gave ourselves a chance to beat a good basketball team, but in the last 3 mintues of the game, we struggled to get the ball in the basket," said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry.
New Orleans missed their last 6 shot attempts. On the other end of the floor, they made a few defensive stops, but failed to grab the rebound, leading to second chance opportunities for the Spurs to convert into points.
"We took a couple of tough shots at the end. They're a very good defensive teams and they made some shots," noted Gentry. "We have to learn some kind of way to close out a game."
Leonard led the way for San Antonio, scoring a game-high 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds. All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 and 8 boards.
Davis earned a double-double in the loss, going for 17 points and 13 rebounds. Eric Gordon led the Pelicans in scoring with 23.
The loss is the 3rd straight for New Orleans, who fall to 23-37 on the season.
Last night, Gentry shouted that his squad was not a playoff team. He's right. The Pelicans are now 6.5 games back, with four teams in between them and 8th place in the Western Conference.
With 22 games left this season, the Pelicans draft lottery odds are much higher than they're playoff chances, which run at less than 1%.