Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans got a firsthand taste of what many opponents have felt in the last 15-plus years since Tim Duncan was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs. Sometimes you think you have a win within reach, and then the Spurs take their game to the next level. That’s exactly what the Pelicans just went through on Monday night at home.
Duncan and Tony Parker were dominant throughout the game, especially late when they imposed their will. Trailing by 12 going into the fourth quarter, the Spurs increased their intensity, executed better offensively and took their defense to the next level. San Antonio outscored New Orleans 38-19 in the final stanza.
The young Davis will have better games as he struggled mightily against Duncan. The veteran registered six blocks and Davis finished just 6-of-21 from the floor.
Parker was his usual sensational self as he finished with 32 points and nine assists.
Each team was missing some of its star players, as Jrue Holiday was out for the Pelicans, and Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobli were out for the Spurs.
This was far from the Spurs’ best performance, and you can be sure coach Gregg Popovich will let them know that. The difference in this game was that the Spurs’ veteran presence and leadership was just too much for the Pelicans and they were overwhelmed as the game was winding down.
The Pelicans are young, but they will improve and see better days with Davis being a star in the making. For now, the Spurs will continue to beat the less experienced and less talented teams.