It’s been an all-hazard game since the loser was eliminated from the 2021/22 season. And in this context, it was the Pelicans who held out at home and were carried away by a boiling crowd, under the impetus of the excellent duo Ingram-McCollum, who are very strong in attacking Spurs.
After the first quarter on watch for both teams (26-22 for the locals), the Pelicans widened the gap then, initially just before the break (61-50), in the momentum of a massive heatstroke from CJ McCollum (27 points in the break), Then more broadly after the break, after the rise of Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas in the third quarter (+19). In general, Willie Green’s guys play a fairly quiet game, largely controlling it.
But Spurs ended up getting up: in the fourth quarter, the “pop” squad starts a furious comeback, commits 16-1 to the Pelicans and the gap goes from +21 to +6 (96-75 to 97-91)! The Pelicans fear more than harm, who react after a timeout from Willie Green, through Brandon Ingram, who scores two important mid-range goals to bring the air back for his team (101-91).
Spurs keep fighting but are no longer able to stop their defence. The gap remains at +10, and the timer runs until the last bell. Malgré une grosse frayeur en fin de partie, les Pelicans s’imposent au terme d’un match qu’ils ont assez largement dominé, et envoient San Antonio, qui chute au premier tour du « play-in » pour la deuxième année consécutive, in vacation.
What to remember
Tottenham’s bankruptcy in the first half. If the Big Five from San Antonio scored half of Spurs’ points in the first half (25 points), that’s still less than CJ McCollum…alone! The Pelicans’ back put up 27 first-half points, including a hot shot in the second quarter that allowed for a first-half signature. Then the Spurs woke up in the second half (70 from 103 points at the end), but given the end result, they will regret this delay in igniting.
– Pelican vs Pelican. clippers. Wolves qualified in seventh, and there is now only one ticket available for the playoff matches in the West. This eighth place, synonymous with a first-round duel against the Suns, will be decided Friday, during the final match between the Pelicans and the Clippers.
✅ C.J. McCollum and Brandon Ingram, “One and Two Punches.” The first kept Spurs at a safe distance in the first half, and the second pushed them back in the second, more specifically in the fourth quarter, to put an end to their angry “running”. As expected, both players held home in attack, and finished with a total of 59 points (32 for CJ McCollum, 27 for Brandon Ingram). The duo’s offensive talent, especially in the mid-range strategic area, was too much to contain the Spurs.
✅ Jonas Valanciunas. The Lithuanian pivot stomped on the Spurs racket and signed a reliable double: 22 points and 14 rebounds. In the aftermath, the Pelicans largely dominated the inner sector battle (56 points in the paint for New Orleans, versus 38 for San Antonio).
✅ Devin Fassel. The young winger “second year student” was Tottenham’s most prominent player. Collecting 23 points (7/13 three-pointers), 2 rebounds and 3 assists, he was one of the main instigators of the San Antonio “race” in the final quarter. Unfortunately, his efforts were in vain, but the former Florida State definitely gained experience after such a performance in such a high stakes game.
⛔️ Degonte Murray and Keldon Johnson. The two strongmen of the five Spurs were disappointed: the former certainly finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, but the road was not there (5/19), and the alarm was too late. The second is slightly better, with 15 points at 6/20. Without the contribution of the five cornerstones, San Antonio languished in the first half, paying cash at the end of the game, despite a backlash that briefly made the Pelicans questionable.
The second and final round of “play” for New Orleans, against the Clippers Friday night through Saturday, at 4 a.m.