The San Antonio Spurs held off a furious fourth-quarter rally by the New Orleans Pelicans (17-28), spoiling the highly anticipated debut of rookie Zion Williamson with a 121-117 victory over the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on Wednesday night.
The win is the third straight for San Antonio, tying their season-high from October when they started the season a perfect 3-0.
New Orleans was led by Williamson’s 22 points, 17 of which came in the fourth quarter. He added seven rebounds and went a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Brandon Ingram poured in 22 points of his own but shot just 27 percent from the field. The Pelican had seven players in double figures and hit 14-of-36 three-point attempts.
Three Standout Players
L.A. had himself a game in the national spotlight as he poured it on early and often to lead the Spurs to a massive win in New Orleans.
Aldridge posted a double-double, finishing with a game-high 32 points on 60 percent shooting to go along with 14 rebounds. Aldridge was aggressive from the opening tip as he banged down low in the paint, hit his signature midrange shot, and earned his way to the free-throw line. Defensively, he had two blocks and a steal but his aggressiveness hindered him a bit as he finished with five fouls on the night.
San Antonio continues to get solid nights from DeRozan and if that continues, that will only lead to good things moving forward for the Silver and Black.
DeRozan scored 50 percent shooting and pulled down five rebounds. With Aldridge surging, DeMar remained aggressive, particularly in the fourth quarter. He hit three big shots to extend the Spurs lead with New Orleans mounting a comeback and his feed to Aldridge would give San Antonio the lead for good.
One player who is experiencing a massive confidence boost over the past few weeks is Dejounte Murray. He’s been much more aggressive as of late, which has opened the door for guys like Aldridge and DeRozan.
Murray showed off his improved jump shot and looks much more comfortable taking it now as opposed to a few months ago. He finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and two assists on the night and will likely add to that stat line if his recent play is anything to go by.
The Spurs are now 20-25 on the season and will return to the court on Friday night when they welcome the Phoenix Suns (18-26) to the AT&T Center to begin a brief two-game homestand.