Pelicans fall flat in fourth quarter in loss at San Antonio

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It was a chance for the New Orleans Pelicans to pull closer to one of the many teams ahead of them in the Western Conference.

Dead last in the conference, New Orleans was looking up at a mediocre San Antonio Spurs team in the standings, with a shot to make up ground against a team it should compete well with.

That was the case for a while but not when it mattered most in a 112-97 loss Sunday evening.

The game was played on basically even terms for three quarters and the score reflected that.

It was 28-26 San Antonio after one quarter and the Spurs led 54-52 at halftime. It was 83-82 Spurs going to the fourth quarter.

Then came the fourth quarter when the Spurs turned it up a notch or two while New Orleans dialed it down a notch or two.

San Antonio outscored New Orleans 29-15 as the Pelicans looked lost on the offensive end of the floor, making just 4-of-19 field goal attempts.

Brandon Ingram had 27 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, keeping New Orleans in touch throughout.

Jonas Valanciunas had another double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds with four assists. Willy Hernangomez did his job off the bench with 10 points and nine rebounds in just 16 minutes.

Josh Hart also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds with four assists while Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 16 points off the bench.

New Orleans was awful from 3-point range, shooting just 28.9 percent (8-of-29) and was poor from the free throw line (9-of-15).

Another major issue was rebounding, with San Antonio drilling New Orleans 55-42 on the boards and that included 15 offensive rebounds for the Spurs.

Ironically, the Spurs shot just 28 percent from 3-point range as well (7-of-25).

As usual, San Antonio shared the ball well, with 31 assists on 45 made shots, a staple of Gregg Popovich teams. The Spurs hammered the Pelicans 66-52 in points in the paint.

New Orleans got nothing out of Garrett Temple and Tomas Satoransky, who combined in 30 minutes to score three points on 1-of-7 shooting. Guard play remains a real issue for the Pelicans, who are without Kira Lewis for the season.

The Spurs are not a good team, now 10-16 with the win.

New Orleans gets a rest now before playing at Oklahoma City Wednesday night.

The Thunder are not good, either, at 8-17.

“In the fourth quarter, it just got away from us,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said.

Just as the season seems to be getting away as well, unfortunately.

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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…

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