The New Orleans Pelicans three-game winning streak screeched to a halt Monday night in San Antonio, as a veteran Spurs team handed the young Pelicans a 19-point defeat.
It was a lackluster performance from the Pelicans as they were out-performed in nearly all statistical categories by the Spurs. New Orleans never got in gear, and things deteriorated as the game progressed, or "fell apart," as head coach Monty Williams said in his post-game press conference.
"We've been talking about guarding the ball and sharing the ball," Williams said. "We really didn't do a good job of either one tonight. I thought their offense was about as crisp as any offense you have ever seen. And there were times when we were a bit discombobulated on the offensive end."
The Spurs outshoot the Pelicans 54 percent to 38 percent. New Orleans also lost the battle in the paint by ten points and the fight for fast break baskets by 3. New Orleans coaches identified both categories as must win stats in order for the Pelicans to prevail over the likes of crafty sharpshooters Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
In the second quarter, the Spurs created the majority of the separation. The Spurs put up 30 points and held the Pelicans to just 16 points.
Williams gave his team an impassioned halftime speech about making their presence felt, but the Pelicans had no new answers for the Spurs in the second half.
"They ran their sets, and we didn't give them any resistance," Williams said. "We still had a chance in the first half. With a young team, you are going to have moments like that. But I thought we were ready to play against that. We just didn't show the resiliency we had in the Cleveland game. The Spurs are a better team than Cleveland."
The Pelicans return to the welcoming atmosphere of the New Orleans Arena Tuesday night to wrap up the back-to-back versus the Golden State Warriors. Williams is hoping the bitter taste of defeat will help motivate his squad against San Francisco.
"We didn't raise our level," Williams said. "Our guys usually finish games like that with a high level of remorse. But we'll see how we bounce back and play tomorrow's game."
All three games in the Pelicans recent win streak came on their home court. They were averaging just under 115 points per game during that run. New Orleans will try to return to those winning ways when they tip off against Golden State at 7pm on Fox Sports New Orleans.