Spurs fall to Pelicans 129-110

San Antonio unable to stop Zion Williamson, scoring a season-high 32 points in the New Orleans victory

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

What’s new?

Amidst being one of the youngest rosters in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Spurs are finally home after a five-game west-coast road trip. San Antonio lost their first game back to New Orleans 129-110, with Pelicans star Zion Williamson attributing a season-high 32 points.

The Spurs are now 6-13 and on a six-game losing streak. A point of emphasis from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is the defensive side of the ball and setting the tone early. Popovich said his favorite thing from tonight’s game was the defensive effort from the middle of the third quarter through late in the fourth. Doug McDermott, a key leader of the team, said he was disappointed in tonight’s first-half defense.

“We had a pretty intense practice yesterday and a great film session. It was disappointing to see the way we started out because I thought we’d come out a little more ready to play,” McDermott said.

Along with a season-high in points, Williamson went 14 of 18 from the field, along with a team-high 11 rebounds. The Pelicans 57.3 percent from the floor and 42.2 percent from the three eased New Orleans to 11-7 on the season.

Courtesy to NBAE/Michael Gonzalez

Game Recap

Jonas Valunčiūnas claimed the first seven points of the ball game. New Orleans quickly jumped out to an 18-4 lead, with Valunčiūnas and Williamson being the only scorers for the Pelicans. McDermott came off the bench midway through the first quarter and gave the Spurs some momentum with nine quick points. San Antonio trailed 29-19 after the first quarter.

New Orleans had a hot hand in the first half, shooting 60.5 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from the three-point line. The Pelicans led by as many as 21 points as San Antonio’s 41.5 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from three prevented the Spurs from keeping up. Devin Vassell led the team with 14 points at the half, while McDermott had 13 off the bench. 

There were no significant runs in the third quarter, with the Pelicans maintaining the 19-point lead, 104-85. Williamson did much of his damage in the third, having 30 points and 10 rebounds in the three quarters. Devonte’ Graham added 21 points off the bench, going 6-10 from beyond the arc. 

San Antonio kept up their defensive effort in the final quarter. Vassell finished the game with a team-high 26 points and eight assists, and McDermott had 21 points off the bench. The Pelicans had more help scoring to win the game 129-110.

Coach’s thoughts

In the third quarter and halfway through the fourth, the Spurs were outscored by only six, and coach Popovich credited both sides of the ball for playing with more of a purpose.

“They weren’t just walking around. We were down 19 at the half. It took all that time to get them to the point where they could compete the way they needed to win in the NBA,” Popovich said. 

What’s next?

The Spurs play the Los Angeles Lakers on back-to-back nights. After losing to the Lakers in L.A. 123-92 on Sunday, the Spurs will look to avenge their loss at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25.