Ginobili scores 16, leads Spurs past Pelicans
(AP) — A big effort from the bench sent San Antonio to its 11th straight victory.
Manu Ginobili had 16 points to lead seven players in double figures, and the Spurs beat the New Orleans Pelicans 112-93 on Monday night to remain undefeated at home.
“The second team did a good job coming in and playing smart, aggressive basketball,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “They didn’t take anything for granted.”
San Antonio, which led by as many as 32 points, never trailed after Al-Farouq Aminu’s layup put New Orleans up 4-2 with 10:54 left in the first quarter.
The Spurs had 30 assists on their 44 field goals, continually making at least two passes on each possession compared to isolation plays and one-pass-and-shoot attempts by the Pelicans. New Orleans had 15 turnovers and finished with 21 assists, which was almost matched by San Antonio’s reserves (16).
“We’ve just got to play harder,” Pelicans big man Anthony Davis said. “They just came out and put it on us. It’s tough. We didn’t play with (any) effort. No energy. We didn’t care. We played like we didn’t care, and it kind of showed.”
Tony Parker had 14 points and seven assists, Tiago Splitter added 11 and Tim Duncan 10 for San Antonio (13-1). Reserves Marco Belinelli had 14 points, Boris Diaw scored 13 and Patty Mills 12.
Ryan Anderson had 17 points, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday each added 12 points and Davis had 10 for New Orleans (6-7). The Pelicans, who have lost six straight in San Antonio, had a three-game winning streak snapped.
San Antonio matched its best start after 14 games and was again able to give its starters significant rest after rolling past Cleveland 126-96 on Saturday.
“We didn’t do a good job of (guarding and sharing the ball),” New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “I thought their offense was as crisp as any offense we’ve ever seen. There were times when we were a bit discombobulated on the offensive end.”
The Spurs have seven double-digit victories during their streak, winning their last four by an average of 19 points.
“We’ve got a deep team,” Ginobili said. “We’re moving the ball really well. We’re making shots. The last five games, we made a ton of shots and we are playing focused. We’ve got 10 players that play every game. We’re all concentrating, and we’re hustling; we’re getting hands on lose balls. And then offensively, we’re just moving the ball, attacking quick and finding open teammates.”
Ginobili had another instant impact, making consecutive 3-pointers and then drawing a charge on Eric Gordon in his first 2 minutes as the Spurs took a 21-10 lead with 4 minutes left in the first quarter.
Ginobili had 11 points in his first 11 minutes, going 3 for 4 on 3-pointers, and finished with six assists and five rebounds.
The Spurs’ starters played an average of 20 minutes on Monday, with Splitter playing 14 after spraining his right ankle in the first half.
The Pelicans shot 38 percent from the field, going 37 for 97 while allowing the Spurs to shoot 54 percent.
San Antonio confounded New Orleans’ frontcourt with a defense led by Duncan and wings that kept collapsing on Davis and Jason Smith, who finished with eight points on 4-for-9 shooting.
“(The defense) was real active,” Duncan said. “Everyone was real active tonight. With good hands, we made it crowded for everybody. We got a lot of hands on balls. Danny (Green) did a great job in there. We had a lot of guys in there get some steals and turn them into offense. Just all in all, good team defense.”
Kawhi Leonard stole a pass and had a breakaway dunk to give San Antonio a 61-40 lead with 9:45 left in the third quarter.
Evans shook his head and looked down almost in surrender after Mills drained a 3 that put San Antonio ahead 81-56 with 3 minutes left in the third.
“We didn’t want to play,” Davis said. “We (weren’t) focused, we weren’t locked in. They had 30 assists, open shots, a lot of layups. We just (weren’t) playing defense. We tried to stay in it, but we just (weren’t) mentally out there tonight.”
NOTES: Splitter went to the locker room with 5 minutes left in the first half after stepping on Davis’ foot while attempting to guard a pass. Splitter dropped to the floor after his ankle turned awkwardly, allowing Davis an uncontested layup. He returned for the second half, but did not play. Splitter appeared to be walking normally upon his return, but San Antonio led 57-40 entering the second half. ... Williams complained that Parker was traveling “every time” he pump-faked, which drew a sarcastic query of “every time?” from official Ron Garretson. ... Parker spread his arms and then fell to the floor in disbelief after official Olandis Poole called a foul against him on a block of Aminu’s layup on a fast break. Replays showed it was a clean block, which made Parker and Popovich even angrier. ... Pelicans F Darius Miller (left foot) and C Gret Stiemsma (left knee sprain) did not play.