DeMar DeRozan’s 32 points help Spurs outlast Pelicans

DeMar DeRozan had 32 points and 11 assists to lead a balanced San Antonio attack as the shorthanded Spurs held off the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 117-114 on Saturday in their first home game in 18 days.

The Spurs led by 10 heading into the final period, but New Orleans clawed back to within 114-111 on a layup by Zion Williamson with 57.8 seconds to play.

Dejounte Murray added a free throw and DeRozan’s dunk with 11.4 seconds left pushed San Antonio’s lead to six points, and the Spurs held on.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points off the bench for San Antonio, which has won three of its past four games and for the first time since it had four games postponed because of COVID. Murray scored 18, Lonnie Walker IV had 17, and Patty Mills added 13 for the Spurs.

San Antonio’s Keldon Johnson, Derrick White, Rudy Gay, Devin Vassell, and Quinndary Witherspoon were held out because of health and safety protocols.

Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 29 points. Williamson added 23 points and 14 rebounds, Eric Bledsoe scored 19, Lonzo Ball hit for 16, and Willy Hernangomez added 12 points for New Orleans.

The Pelicans led throughout the first quarter before San Antonio surged ahead in the period’s final minute and took a 33-32 lead.ad

The Spurs dominated the second period, taking as much as a nine-point lead on two free throws by Aldridge with 24.1 seconds left. San Antonio led 67-61 at halftime.

Five San Antonio players scored in double figures in the half, led by Murray’s 15 points and 13 each by Walker and Aldridge. The Spurs were 10 of 19 on 3-pointers in the first half and held a 23-11 edge in bench scoring.

Ingram led all scorers over the first 24 minutes with 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting, with Williamson scoring 11 and Ball adding 10.

Williamson’s put-back layup pulled the Pelicans within 71-70 at two and a half minutes into the third quarter, but San Antonio reeled off a 9-2 run, and pushed its lead to as many as 12 points before taking a 93-83 lead into the final 12 minutes.

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