Davis hits game-winner, Pelicans beat Spurs 100-99
SAN ANTONIO (AP) The San Antonio Spurs seemingly had overcome certain defeat with a dominant run. The sold-out crowd at the AT&T Center was producing deafening cheers, believing the defending NBA champions would rallied as they had done so often last season.
The reserved tone of Anthony Davis, New Orleans' quiet superstar, rose amid the chaos, essentially saying, ''We got this.''
He had it.
Davis scored the game-winning basket - a driving layup with 6.6 seconds left - and the New Orleans Pelicans held on for a 100-99 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. Davis finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds.
San Antonio went on a 15-4 run with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan on the bench to take a 99-98 lead. Danny Green capped the run with three free throws with 12 seconds remaining after he was fouled by Eric Gordon on a wild 3-point attempt as the shot clock was about to expire.
It was the Spurs' first lead since 8 minutes remained in the first quarter.
''When Danny Green made those three free throws, I told coach, we're going to win the game,'' Davis said. ''We're going to get a bucket and we're going to win this game.''
Davis drove past Aron Baynes for a layup with 6.6 seconds left to seal the win. Kawhi Leonard missed a pair of shots in the final seconds, snapping the Spurs' five-game winning streak over the Pelicans.
''The play was supposed to go to Jrue (Holiday) for the back door, but me being me, when I caught the ball, I was in attack mode,'' Davis said. ''I just tried to make a good play. Jrue knew because he stopped and didn't go. I just tried to be aggressive.''
It was the mindset New Orleans had all night in flustering the veteran Spurs.
''We don't back down from any team,'' Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans said. ''We came out and executed, played really hard the whole game.''
Evans had 18 points, including buzzer-beating shots in the second and third quarters, and Jrue Holiday had 15 points and 11 assists.
Parker scored 28 points, Manu Ginobili added 17 points, Green had 16 and Duncan had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
It was a narrow escape for what early on seemed a dominant victory by New Orleans (3-2) over San Antonio (2-3).
''I think it's more mental than anything,'' Green said. ''But I can't speak for everybody. When I talk to some of the older guys, some guys' bodies are hurting a little bit. We have some back-to-backs coming up, but we've done this before. They've been here before. I feel like we're in decent shape; still getting there. We're not in the greatest shape. We're just not in our normal team rhythm, our chemistry.''
Even when the Spurs did well defensively, blocking a layup by Holiday or forcing a miss by Evans on a fastbreak, the Pelicans' hustled to gather the shots in midair and score.
Holiday came out of nowhere to block Leonard on what looked like an uncontested layup off a bullet pass from Ginobili. Evans hustled over to help defensively and catch Parker coming out of a spin to the basket, forcing the Spurs point guard to throw the ball out wildly into Davis' arms for the team's 17th turnover.
San Antonio had 19 turnovers and struggled to match New Orleans' intensity.
''I'm one of players,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ''So I think we're out there playing hard. I understand a year after winning the championship you're going to get everyone's best shot. I believe we're out there playing hard and I believe things just haven't gone out way.''
The Spurs: Duncan had his 800th career double-double, the most among active players, placing him 14 behind Karl Malone for fifth. . San Antonio wore camouflage short-sleeve jerseys in honor of its Military Appreciation Night.
The Pelicans: Davis has led or shared the lead in both scoring and rebounding in every game except for the team's Nov. 3 loss at Memphis. . Davis entered leading the league in rebounding at 13.3 per game and Asik was sixth at 11.3. . Evans (right hamstring), Asik (sprained right ankle) and Holiday (right tibia stress fracture) were all listed as probable but each played 26-plus minutes.
Duncan and Davis, both former No. 1 overall selections, have posted similar numbers in their first two seasons in the NBA. Duncan averaged 21.3 points on 53 percent shooting along with 11.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks in 39 minutes after being the top selection in 1997 by the Spurs. Davis averaged 17.3 points on 52 percent shooting along with 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 32 minutes after being drafted No. 1 by the Pelicans in 2012.
New Orleans: At Cleveland on Monday night
San Antonio: At Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night