Spurs drop struggling Pelicans
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tony Parker scored a game-high 27 points with seven assists and the San Antonio Spurs held off the New Orleans Pelicans, 101-95, from New Orleans Arena.
Tim Duncan contributed 18 points and nine rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth and Manu Ginobili returned from a two-game absence due to a hamstring injury with 14 points.
"When I saw TD (Duncan) go out, I knew I was going to be aggressive and try to create for myself or for my teammates," Parker said.
Kawhi Leonard tallied 13 points with six rebounds for the Spurs, who have won five straight and eight of their last nine games.
Anthony Davis filled the stat sheet with 22 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks for New Orleans, which is mired in a six-game losing streak.
"We had our chances tonight and we just didn't execute down the stretch," New Orleans head coach Monty Williams said.
Brian Roberts scored 19 points, while Eric Gordon added 12 points and Austin Rivers registered 11 off the bench in the loss.
New Orleans led 52-51 at the half and each team alternated a basket to open the third when the Pelicans went on an 11-2 run. Roberts hit back-to-back shots during the burst, the second of which being a 3, and Al-Farouq Aminu capped it with a jumper for a 65-55 lead with just over nine minutes left.
Later in the frame, Roberts knocked down a jumper to help New Orleans maintain a five-point edge, 73-68, with 3:57 to go.
The Pelicans would go scoreless from there and the Spurs ended the quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 76-73 lead into the fourth.
Matt Bonner and Marco Belinelli opened and closed a 10-4 run with 3s to open the fourth and stake the Spurs to an 86-77 advantage.
Davis then scored the final four points of a 10-0 spurt that put the Pelicans in front.
Duncan fouled out with 6:02 to play in the stanza with the Spurs leading 89-87, but Gordon made 1-of-2 at the line and the Pelicans couldn't take full advantage of the departure.
With the score 94-93 in favor of the San Antonio, Ginobili drove and kicked to Leonard, who buried a corner 3 with 2:05 left.
Roberts answered at the other end with a tough layup, was fouled by Ginobili, but missed the free throw which would have made it a one-point game with under two minutes to play.
Parker showed that there was no need for Duncan late as the Frenchman drove the lane and made an acrobatic layup with Jason Smith and Roberts draped all over him. Parker leaped on the drive, held the ball just as he was about to hit the floor and tossed it in with 43.5 seconds on the clock.
Roberts missed a 3 on the ensuing possession as the shorthanded Pelicans couldn't upend the top team in the West.
New Orleans was without Tyreke Evans (ankle) for the second straight game, along with Ryan Anderson (back) and Jrue Holiday (leg). Anderson and Holiday are expected to miss a substantial amount of time with their injuries ... Danny Green was out for San Antonio with a broken finger he suffered in Sunday's win over Minnesota ... San Antonio shot 35-of-67 (52.2 percent) from the field ... New Orleans shot 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) from 3 with Roberts connecting on 3-of-5 attempts ... Aminu grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds ... Belinelli scored 12 points off the bench, connecting on 2-of-4 shots from deep.
01/14 00:46:40 ET