Pelicans fall to Spurs in another blow to dimming playoff hopes
It may be all over but the shouting for the 2020-21 New Orleans Pelicans.
In a must-win situation, the Pelicans failed at home, falling to San Antonio 110-108 to fall four and a half games behind the Spurs in the Western Conference standings. Golden State is four games ahead of New Orleans for the tenth and final play-in spot in the playoff chase.
Once again, bad shooting at the free show line proved fatal as the Pelicans missed 15-of-32 free throw attempts, shooting a lousy 53 percent.
That is where the game was lost as the Spurs had the exact same number of free throw attempts (32) but made 27, an 84 percent conversion rate.
The Pelicans also helped give the game away with 19 turnovers, an unacceptable number. Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball each had four turnovers.
Zion Williamson did everything he could with 33 points and 14 rebounds while Ingram had 24 points, six rebounds and six assists. Playing in just his 79th NBA game, Williamson eclipsed the 2,000 point mark, the 10th fastest in league history to reach 2,000 points.
Ball was excellent, scoring 24 points and sinking 6-of-10 from 3-point range.
The bench was simply not good enough, scoring just 17 points.
Demar DeRozan was excellent, scoring 32 points, including a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line for San Antonio.
Things only get more difficult for the Pelicans, who face the talented Los Angeles Clippers Monday night.
With only 12 games remaining, New Orleans is at 26-34 with its playoff hopes fading and quite frankly, now unlikely, if not very unlikely to happen for a team that cannot shoot free throws, does not shoot well from beyond the arc and struggles to defend and to protect the basketball.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…