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San Antonio vs. New Orleans, Final Score: Spurs lose Aldridge and the game, 121-116

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It was another valiant effort followed by a heart-breaking loss for the Spurs.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs just can’t catch a break. Back at home from the Rodeo Road Trip, they came in fresh looking to take on the New Orleans Pelicans and the hottest player the league: Anthony Davis. Despite holding The Brow to a relatively pedestrian 26 points on 9-19 shooting, the Spurs lost LaMarcus Aldridge to a sprained ankle in the second quarter and were forced to go super-small the rest of the game.

For a while it looked like they might still pull this one off, getting the lead to as high as 15 with some beautiful team basketball and a resilient effort, but too many mistakes down the stretch cost them the game for a 121-116 loss. Six Spurs scored in double figures, led by Rudy Gay with 19, Dejounte Murray with 18 points and 9 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili’s 17.

Random Observations

  • Against Cleveland, Patty Mills passed Matt Bonner for fourth most three-pointers in franchise history at 657. With one tonight, he needs just four more to pass Bruce Bowen for third.
  • Tony Parker passed Tim Duncan for fourth most steals in franchise history at 1,026. Alvin Robertson is next at 1,128. Also, with one steal tonight, Manu Ginobili is only 10 away from passing David Robinson for most in franchise history.
  • Pop got two quick technicals less than a minute into the second half after the baseline official missed a Pelicans player coming in from out of bounds to receive a pass. It certainly didn’t seem like enough to warrant two techs (according to Jeff McDonald the first was just for saying “Open your eyes”), but it wouldn’t be surprising if this was one of Pop’s infamous purposeful ejections to light a fire under his team to make sure they didn’t sulk about losing Aldridge.
  • Later in the third, Davis had a borderline flagrant foul (but probably not) on Ginobili when he grabbed his arms and pulled him down on a drive. It seemed like a purposeful “prevent the basket” foul, so why he continued to argue with the refs afterwards even though it wasn’t even reviewed for a flagrant is confusing to say the least. My only guess is he thought Ginobili’s forearms were part of the ball and it should have been a jump-ball.
  • Tonight’s game featured both ends of the spectrum from Murray. There was the star potential with defense, rebounding, creativity around the basket, and even a big three late in the fourth. There was also the sporadic ball control, not knowing when to pull back out in transition and set up a play, and not always moving to open spots on the court.

For the Pelican fan’s perspective, visit The Bird Writes.

The Spurs return to the AT&T Center on Saturday to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. Tip-off will be at 8:00 PM CT.