After another slow start, the Pelicans made a run in the third quarter but ultimately fell short in a 122-113 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Sunday afternoon.
The Spurs opened the game on a 14-3 run and built a 20-point lead in the first half. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said he had no explanation for his team stumbling out of the gates.
“We talked about it, and it is a game seven, and we did need to approach it like it was a game seven,” he said. “Obviously, we fell [behind] early. Defensively, we weren’t into the ball early on, and I don’t have an explanation for that. I wish I did.
“The only way you’re going to beat a team like that, you have to be ready to play, you’ve got to be willing to execute, and you’ve got to be able to protect the basketball. Those things we struggled with today.”
The Pelicans were able to narrow the lead to just eight thanks to a run in late in the second quarter run and closed the gap even further in the third, as they trailed by just four at the start of the game’s final frame.
However, the Spurs used a couple key runs to secure the victory.
“I don’t think we started the game with a great competitive spirit.,” Pelicans guard J.J. Redick said. “We’ve had a couple of games like that down here, for whatever reason. Our group eventually picked it back up and whittled that lead down to a one possession game. We just didn’t start the game right, for the whole first half; not just the starters, I’m just saying the whole first half.”
Redick lead New Orleans with a game high 31 points and became the sixth player in Pelicans history to reach that mark when coming off the bench.
“Well, I thought JJ – he talked the other day about us playing and bringing the right spirit to play with, and I thought he did exactly that.,” Gentry said. ”I think we’ve got to do a little bit better job of being able to move on to the next play when things are not going good, and then we have to be able to rally together. But I thought JJ was really good today. I thought he did a really good job. I thought he made some really tough shots for us to kind of keep us just within arms reach, but we just couldn’t get over the hump, and we never got to the point where we could get ahead.”
The Pelicans are back on the court Tuesday fro a matchup with the Sacramento Kings.