Parker leads Spurs past Pelicans
(AP) — Tony Parker was causing the Pelicans so much trouble with his dazzling dribble drives that New Orleans’ best defender, agile big man Anthony Davis, stepped out to challenge the shifty San Antonio point guard on the perimeter during the critical final five minutes.
With a shoulder fake to his right and a cross-over dribble to the left, Parker wrong-footed Davis and exploded down an open lane for yet another easy layup.
Parker scored 21 of his 32 points in the second half and also doled out nine assists, and the Spurs overcame a 14-point deficit en route to a 102-95 victory over the Pelicans on Monday night.
“Tony pretty much carved them up,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, referring to Parker as “a monster” down the stretch.
Tim Duncan scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half, and Marco Belinelli added 13 against his former club.
Davis had 17 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks, Anthony Morrow added 20 points and Eric Gordon scored 19 for the Pelicans, who appeared in line for their fifth win in six games when they led by 14 near the end of the third quarter.
The Spurs had other plans, outscoring New Orleans 38-19 in the final period.
“Finally, in the fourth quarter, we were more physical and played better defense,” Parker said. “And we just know how to win. ... In the fourth quarter, when it’s tight, we know how to execute and we know what we want to do on offense.”
Duncan had a difficult first half, hitting only two of his first eight shots and even missing a dunk, but looked like his usual self when it mattered.
He opened the third quarter by making 5 of 7 shots. Parker added 10 points in the quarter, and his scoop shot had San Antonio as close as 65-62 with 3:13 left in the period. But New Orleans regained its rhythm once more while the Spurs briefly came unhinged.