The understaffed San Antonio Spurs exacted revenge on the shorthanded New Orleans Pelicans as the pair of play-in tournament hopefuls jockeyed positioning on Saturday night. Despite trailing by 12 points, the good guys regained their composure and pulled off a furious comeback that brought them within a game of their division foe in the Western Conference standings.
Keldon Johnson led the Silver and Black with 21 points, eight boards, and two blocks. Though Dejounte Murray went a horrendous 4-of-19 from the field, he amassed 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists for his 13th triple-double of the season. Josh Richardson (18), Josh Primo (12), Jakob Poeltl (12), Zach Collins (10), and Jock Landale (10) also scored in double figures.
San Antonio showed why they average a league-leading 28.0 assists per game as Josh Richardson, Keita Bates-Diop, and Jakob Poeltl played hot potato with the basketball to pick apart the defense.
Dribble handoffs are never safe when Dejounte Murray is in the area, and the first-time All-Star poked the rock loose and found Josh Primo with a slick behind-the-back assist for a one-handed slam.
No one on the roster has shot the three-ball better than Josh Richardson, and not even air-tight defense from CJ McCollum could faze the 28-year-old marksman as he hit corner three with a hand in his face.
Jakob Poeltl looked like a man among boys on the boards, securing a pair of offensive rebounds among an ocean of red jerseys before a successful put-back on his third attempt at the basket.
Keldon Johnson has learned how to leverage his three-point prowess into driving lanes, which is precisely what the third-year forward did as he got Herb Jones to bite on a fake and finished at the rim.
Gregg Popovich turned to Jock Landale and Zach Collins when his small-ball lineup couldn’t clean the glass, and the savvy centers connected for a slam as San Antonio stole the momentum in the fourth.
Although Landale has played sparingly throughout the season, the rookie big man knocked down a massive three-pointer after the Spurs swung the ball around the court in search of the best shot possible.
First-year combo guard Josh Primo also left his handprints on the contest with this ridiculous floater between three defenders that helped the Silver and Black string together a 12-0 run in the final frame.
And as always, here are the full game highlights.