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Pelicans take advantage of Spurs' absences

Dec 27, 2014 - 6:03 AM New Orleans, LA ( - With Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson each netting 22 points to lead the way, the New Orleans Pelicans dealt the ailing San Antonio Spurs another loss with a 97-90 decision at Smoothie King Center.

Davis added 12 rebounds and five blocks and Anderson provided a spark off the bench in a key victory for New Orleans, which also received 15 points and seven assists from Jrue Holiday.

The defending world champion Spurs fell for the sixth time in seven games and took the court minus Tony Parker due to a hamstring injury, with Kawhi Leonard remaining on the sidelines with a torn ligament in his hand.

"We have a lot of respect for that entire organization in San Antonio," Pelicans head coach Monty Williams remarked. "We've got to value this and try to build on it (at Chicago) tomorrow."

Tim Duncan did come up with 20 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio, while Cory Joseph also had 20 points starting in place of Parker. However, the Spurs were hurt by 17 turnovers that led to 20 New Orleans points.

"We turned it over and fouled too much. We were our own worst enemy," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. "You can't go to (injuries). Both teams play, whoever shows, plays. Whoever doesn't show doesn't matter. When you give up 20 points off turnovers on the road, you're going to have a hard time."

The aging and depleted Spurs appeared to wear down in their second game in as many days. Up by just one late in the third quarter, New Orleans put together a 7-0 run that bled into the fourth and created some additional distance later on in the final frame.

Anderson buried a critical 3-pointer during the aforementioned spurt and capped it with a reverse layup shortly afterward, putting the Pelicans up 72-64 with under 11 1/2 minutes left.

The margin stretched to double digits after Austin Rivers' steal and layup with 6:45 to go staked New Orleans to an 83-72 lead. Moments later, John Salmons buried a trey to put San Antonio down by 12, 88-76 with five minutes remaining.

Triples by Joseph and Manu Ginobili in the final minute got San Antonio within 95-90 before the Pelicans' Tyreke Evans sealed the outcome by hitting two free throws with nine seconds left.

"We know consistency is something that we need to get better at," Anderson said. "But great wins like this, it shows us how we can play and how we should play."

With Duncan accounting for 10 of their first 12 points, the Spurs built a 26-20 lead early in the second quarter before New Orleans turned the tide via an 11-4 run.

An 8-0 surge, highlighted by back-to-back buckets from Holiday, later in the period had the Pelicans up 48-39 nearing the end of the half, but a Joseph layup and Danny Green's 3-pointer brought San Antonio within four at the break.

The Spurs never went ahead in the second half, however, with a 10-point third quarter from Davis helping the Pelicans keep their division rival at bay.

Game Notes

San Antonio had won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the clubs prior to the Pelicans' 100-99 road triumph on Nov. 8 ... The Spurs had just one offensive rebound on the night ... San Antonio forward Boris Diaw, who sat out the Christmas Day loss to Oklahoma City with an illness, returned to action and had 10 points in 25 minutes ... New Orleans finished 21-of-24 from the foul line ... The Spurs have lost three straight times in the second of a back-to- back.