Pelicans drop tight game late in San Antonio, 98-93

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Lightning did not strike twice in San Antonio.

On Feb. 28, the Pelicans trailed the entire game against the Spurs before rallying in the final two minutes to pull out a 121-116 victory.

After trailing virtually the entire game Thursday night in San Antonio, the Pelicans found themselves poised to catch the Spurs in the final two minutes again.

Unfortunately, it did not occur.

San Antonio held on for an important 98-93 victory.

The Pelicans were outhustled and outplayed throughout but were resilient, hanging tough and battling back to within 91-90 with 1:51 to play. That is when Anthony Davis fouled of the game as he tried to stop LeMarcus Aldridge in the paint. New Orleans would struggle offensively the rest of the way as the Spurs got the big win.

The irony could not escape my mind. On the day Tom Benson passed from this earth, his New Orleans Pelicans were playing in San Antonio.

Not to take you back to 2005 because you already know that story but to remind all of how God works in mysterious ways. New Orleans and San Antonio were the common link to the entire Benson family and represented the two favorite cities of Mr. Benson.

Playing with heavy hearts, the Pelicans looked to carry that over to the court.

They were a step slow on loose balls all night long and failed to defend well enough until late in the contest. They settled for too many long jump shots. There was little or no flow or continuity to their game. They played the Spurs’ game, a slower, half-court contest.

Davis fouled out with under two minutes left in frustration.

He was frustrated all night long with the calls against him or lack of fouls called when he had the ball. He finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds but had six turnovers and was just 8-of-19 from the field. Jrue Holiday had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists but was just 8-of-22 from the field. Nikola Mirotic was a non-factor, going 3-of-11 for just six points, though he had nine rebounds. Holiday also missed a critical free throw with 21 seconds left.

When your three top scorers combine for just 47 points and shoot 37 percent from the field (20-of-54), you are going to lose, particularly to a good team on the road.

Losing to another Western conference playoff contender in San Antonio hurt. It was a double whammy. New Orleans fell to sixth in the West with the loss and are now just a half game ahead of the Spurs.

Now comes a very difficult back-to-back as the best team in the league, the Houston Rockets, come calling Saturday night before Eastern power Boston visits Smoothie King Center Sunday night.

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

Owner/CEO

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and 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 Football Foundation, College…

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