NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 13th (All times Eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (29-8) at New Orleans Pelicans (15-21), 8 p.m.
(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 great."
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 New Orleans.
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 (herniated disc).
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 Pelicans.
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 boards.
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 Orleans.
01/13 10:29:44 ET