Davis leads New Orleans past San Antonio 97-90

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis stepped to his right and blocked a direct path to the basket for Tim Duncan, who instead went up for a layup.

Davis took over from there.

The 6-foot-10 power forward blocked Duncan's shot before tying up the ball, drawing loud cheers from the sold-out crowd. He finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in New Orleans' 97-90 victory over slumping San Antonio on Friday night.

"Honestly, I didn't even think about it was Tim," Davis said. "I was just in the moment playing basketball."

The Pelicans earned consecutive wins over the Spurs for the first time in team history. They also won 100-99 in San Antonio on Nov. 8.

Ryan Anderson scored 22 points for New Orleans (15-14), and Jrue Holiday added 15 points and seven assists.

San Antonio played without point guard Tony Parker, who was sidelined by a lingering left hamstring strain. Parker played the previous two games, including Thursday's 114-106 loss to Oklahoma City, but coach Gregg Popovich said the injury is still a problem.

Duncan had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs (18-13), and Cory Joseph also scored 20 points. San Antonio has dropped six of seven.

The Pelicans led 48-44 at halftime, and Davis helped his team stay in front in the third. He had 10 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots in the period, including an emphatic rejection of a Manu Ginobili shot that bounced out of play.

After the block on Duncan, Davis turned to the crowd and let out an emotional yell.

"The crowd was energized, we get energized," Anderson said. "When you see that kind of effort from a player - especially you're best player - it rubs off. You want to give that same heart and that same effort. That was an incredible stretch right there. You don't see that very often."

Davis rested at the start of the fourth quarter, and New Orleans' reserves helped push the lead to 81-72 on Anderson's jumper with 7:50 to go. John Salmons' 3-pointer increased the Pelicans' advantage to 12 with 5 1/2 minutes left.

The Pelicans put the game out of reach on Davis' third assist of the game in the final minute, a soft underhanded toss to Anderson, who finished the play off with a dunk.

"He's an MVP candidate," Popovich said of Davis. "He's blossomed."

New Orleans scored 20 points off of 17 San Antonio turnovers and outrebounded the Spurs by five. The Spurs picked up only one offensive rebound.

"Any time you hold a team with Tim Duncan on it to one offensive rebound, you feel like you've accomplished something," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said.


Spurs: Marco Belinelli scored 13 points, and Ginobili finished with 12. ... San Antonio led 24-20 after one.

Pelicans: New Orleans won for only the second time this season when it shoots a lower percentage than its opponent. The Pelicans shot 41.7 percent from the field, compared to 49 percent for the Spurs. The only other such win was against Utah on Nov. 22.


The Pelicans are fourth in the NBA in blocked shots, averaging six per game. But the key number for New Orleans is seven. When the Pelicans have at least that many, including Friday against San Antonio, they are 10-0 this season.


Spurs: Host Houston on Sunday night.

Pelicans: Visit Chicago on Saturday night.

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