The success of DeRozan and a gray Lonzo Ball avoid the miracle

Gentry's men were on the verge of signing a comeback that seemed impossible at half-time. A great last quarter of DeRozan added to a gray Ball avoided it.


An end between candidates. This is how the duel between Pelicans and Spurs was presented. Both came to the meeting with the emotional rush of having won their last game and of keeping their options intact to fight at least for the play-in in the West. Those of San Antonio began by taking the pulse of the game led by a superb Derrick White at the start. The defensive passivity of the Pelicans smoothed the game even more in the opening stages to the point that barely 3 minutes of the game had elapsed and Popovich's were already 11 points up.

Gentry had to stop the game and the Pelicans reacted with their moment of greatest brilliance. An 11-0 run, led in scoring by Ingram and Favors, seemed like it would even things out, but nothing further from the truth was a pure mirage. Those of San Antonio finished the quarter with a 13-5 and finished the first quarter with 8 rental points. Much of the blame was on Derrick White and his 12 points, with 71.4% shooting from the field. In the Pelicans, a gray Zion did not appear at the start, only 2 points and very unfortunate facing the rim in the few minutes that Gentry gave him.

The 12 minutes before the break were the reaffirmation of the good dynamics of Popovich's men. The game became a real runner-up and only the Spurs knew how to put a bit of ground into the duel and manage the times. At halftime, they were already 17 up on the scoreboard and White returned to leave a new scoring display in the bubble, a facet that he is uncovering in Orlando, 16 points and an accuracy above 66%. In those of Gentry, Zion was still missing, which even attacked an air ball from the personnel line, only the success of the veteran Redick maintained an acceptable level of annotation.

However, the Spurs finished the first half with the fly behind the ear. Derrick White limped away, and the ghosts of injury suddenly appeared. The Colorado point guard could barely hold out on the field for just over 2 minutes, in which the good percentages with which the first half ended substantially worsened, and the Pelicans knew how to take advantage of that hard emotional blow to turn the game around. At the time of White's injury, the Spurs were up 20 on the scoreboard and at the end of the quarter they were only winning by 4.

Beyond Zion Williamson's winning dynamics, he scored 8 points in the fourth after scoring 4 consecutive shots and finishing the fourth with 15 on his account, Gentry's men gave another air to their game, trying to secure their attacks with more possessions long. Redick continued to maintain his excellent level, but he was joined by players from the first unit such as Ingram or fleeting appearances of substitutes such as Hayes or Jackson.

The reaction was a mirage. In the last quarter, a series of ingredients were put together that prevented the feat. The first of them was the stellar appearance of DeMar DeRozan, he finished the game with 27 points of which 14 scored in the last 12 points. To this, Lonzo Ball's excessive selfishness was added when orchestrating the plays of his team, he lost 3 balls in key moments and only scored one free kick in the last 12 minutes ending the game with a 2 of 10 in shots from the field and 0-for-4 on 3s, as well as the obsessive tendency to try to build plays around Zion Williamson.

The pivot ended up scoring 25 points in 27 minutes but did not exceed a discreet 50% in field goals, a percentage that decreased in the last minutes. Despite this, Redick continued to support the hope of an epic comeback with triples, but the final success of Popovich's from the personnel line stoned the last hopes.With this victory, the Spurs are 1 game behind the Grizzlies, eighth after losing to the Raptors, and tied for ninth place with the Blazers. His next stake will be against the Rockets next Tuesday. For their part, the Pelicans are ruled out to be the eighth and only a miracle would allow Alvin Gentry's men to play the play-in. Those of New Orleans are one game and a half of the ninth, in the absence of 2 games, the first of them against the Sacramento Kings with nothing at stake.

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