Without their two best players, the NO Pelicans soared to a 126-117 victory against the SA Spurs on Thursday night. This was an impressive win for New Orleans, who were missing both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Williamson was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols after experiencing knee pain earlier this week, while Ingram is still recovering from toe soreness.
The Pels covered the spread on DraftKings and FanDuel Louisiana Sportsbook, while the total has gone Over. After having a tough stretch, including their 128-119 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Pels managed to solve their defensive lapses and dominate the Spurs, from start to finish.
McCollum Leads the Pelicans to Snap 4-Game Losing-Streak
The Pelicans put an end to their four-game losing streak with a thrilling win over the Spurs on Wednesday. Five different players scored in double figures, led by CJ McCollum’s season-high 40-point performance.
“He is getting his rhythm back after a couple of games out,” said by Pelicans backup center, Willy Hernangomez.
“I’m happy for him. We need him. Without Zion, CJ was ready to go.”
As a team, New Orleans shot 13 of 34 from 3-point range and he was responsible for seven of those makes, allowing them to develop an early lead in the final quarter. McCollum scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, providing the margin they needed to stay ahead. With 3:34 remaining and time becoming scarce, McCollum stepped up again with a transition three-pointer that sealed the game.
Defensively, the Pelicans executed impressively, clamping down on the Spurs early and often. In the first quarter, New Orleans held San Antonio to a mere 17 points, serving notice that this would be an evening of tenacity and effort for the home team.
With the victory, New Orleans improved its overall record to 19-12, a promising mark considering all of the injuries the team underwent this season.
Spurs Know the Bright Side
Despite the outcome, the Spurs can take solace in knowing they put up a good fight against a formidable Pelicans team. Jeremy Sochan had an impressive breakout game, leading all scorers with 23 points. Tre Jones and Josh Richardson chipped in key contributions combining for 33 of the team’s 117 points on the night.
Devin Vassell made his presence felt by racking up 9 rebounds as well as 3 steals. He also showed off his improved mid-range game which has seen him become a bright spot in what has been a dispiriting season so far for San Antonio. Although their start was sluggish and the Pelicans were too much to overcome, it is heartening to see how Sochan and others have stepped up their production this season.