(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs can become the NBA's first 30-win
team on Monday night if they emerge victorious after a trip to the Big Easy to
meet the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Spurs won their fourth straight on Sunday and joined the Indiana Pacers in
the league lead with 29 victories. The Pacers are idle on Monday, so a Spurs
win would make them the first to 30.
On Sunday, Kawhi Leonard totaled 17 points and six rebounds to lead the Spurs
to a 104-86 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at AT&T Center.
Tim Duncan added 15 points and eight rebounds and Tony Parker contributed 14
points and 10 assists for the Spurs, who outscored the Wolves 52-37 in the
second half. Matt Bonner and Marco Belinelli added 14 and 13 points,
respectively, off the bench.
"The team, in general, was great. We had a great third and fourth quarter
defensively," said Duncan. "We did a much better job keeping them off the
offensive glass, and we were able to get a lead and just keep it. It was
Danny Green played just nine minutes for the Spurs against Minnesota due to a
sprained left index finger. The shooting guard did not travel with the team to
Manu Ginobili missed the last two games with a left hamstring issue, but did
travel to the Big Easy and is listed as questionable.
The Pelicans have dropped five in a row and return home for a three-game stand
against the Spurs, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. This slide
coincides with injuries to both Jrue Holiday (right tibia) and Ryan Anderson
On Saturday, the Pelicans essentially got screwed.
Down three with under a second to go against the Dallas Mavericks, New
Orleans' Austin Rivers appeared to get fouled by Dallas' Monta Ellis. The refs
were silent and the Mavs walked off with a 110-107 victory.
"That's just too bad. That's just not right," New Orleans coach Monty Williams
said. "If we stopped it with .5 on the clock, and Monta Ellis' arm is across
Austin's - both of his arms for a three-point shot. It's hard to swallow that
kind of no-call in a game like that."
The NBA agreed and released a statement.
"After reviewing postgame video, we have determined a foul should have been
called on Dallas' Monta Ellis for illegal contact on the arms of New Orleans'
Austin Rivers while Rivers was attempting a 3-point field goal," said NBA
president of basketball operations Rod Thorn. "Rivers should have been awarded
three free throws with 0.6 left on the clock."
That's nice consolation, but it's still a loss in the record books for the
Anthony Davis ended with 28 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans. Eric
Gordon added 20 points and Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 15 points and 11
The Spurs beat the Pelicans by 19 in San Antonio on Nov. 25 and have won eight
of the last nine meetings. The Spurs are 6-2 in their last eight in New
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