SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio needed overtime to pick up its first win against New Orleans this season. The Spurs defeated the Pelicans 95-93 on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center in the fifth overtime game for the Spurs in December.
Guard Manu Ginobili hit a lay-up with just under 25 seconds remaining to turn a one-point deficit into a one-point lead.
New Orleans looked like it won in regulation when forward Anthony Davis’ put-back dunk gave the Pelicans an 84-82 lead with 0.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But Spurs forward Tim Duncan tipped in a lobbed pass toward the basket as he fell to the floor as the clock expired to force overtime.
Ginobili finished with a game-high 26 points, while the Davis led the Pelicans with 21 points.
After trailing for most of the contest, the Pelicans took a 74-73 lead on a jumper by guard Jimmer Fredette with just under seven minutes to go. That set the scene for a dramatic finish to the calendar year for both teams.
The Spurs (20-14) and the Pelicans (16-16) both looked like teams that had not been in San Antonio long. The Spurs were coming off a loss to Memphis on Tuesday night, while the Pelicans picked up a win against Phoenix.
Both teams struggled to do much offensively in the first half. The Spurs finished the half shooting 39 percent from the field, but it was significantly better than what the Pelicans could muster in the first two quarters.
New Orleans managed a mere 27.5 percent shooting as guards Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans combined to go 4-for-17 in the first half. With Davis relatively quiet in the second quarter, the Spurs stretched a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter into a 38-28 lead at halftime.
San Antonio used a 17-7 run to build that gap. New Orleans’ 28-point half tied for the team’s lowest point output in the first half this season.
NOTES: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he expects F Kawhi Leonard to be back “later rather than sooner.” Leonard has been out since Dec. 17 with a bruised right hand. … Popovich said he expects G Tony Parker to come back sooner than Leonard. Parker has been out since Dec. 26 with a strained left hamstring. … Wednesday’s game was the second meeting between the two teams in the last six days. The Pelicans defeated the Spurs 97-90 on Dec. 26. … Pelicans G Jimmer Fredette came into Wednesday’s game after notching season highs in points (nine) and minutes played (21) in New Orleans’ 110-106 win over Phoenix. … Pelicans F John Salmons missed his second straight game because of personal reasons. Coach Monty Williams told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Tuesday that Salmons is not expected to be back any time soon.
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