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Spurs 102, Pelicans 95

The SportsXchange

NEW ORLEANS -- Guard Tony Parker scored 21 of his game-high 32 points in the second half and helped erase a 14-point deficit in the final 11 minutes with a 38-19 fourth quarter to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 102-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night at the New Orleans Arena.

The Pelicans led by as many as 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Spurs unleashed a 21-4 blitz in a 6:08 span to take an 87-84 lead. After guard Marco Belinelli got things started with a layup and foul shot, reserve guard Patty Mills nailed a 20-foot jumper and a 3-pointer.

Then forward Danny Green, playing for the first time in 10 games, hit five straight points as the Spurs drew within 82-80. Parker tied the game at 82 with a floater in the lane, and guard Eric Gordon nailed a right-hand hook in the lane to give the Pelicans their final lead, 84-82.

San Antonio took the lead for good on Matt Bonner's 3-pointer from the right wing to put San Antonio ahead, 85-84 with 5:26 left.

Forward Tim Duncan added 21 points for the Spurs (35-14). Reserve guard Anthony Morrow scored 20 points for New Orleans (20-27), who also got 19 points from Gordon. Forward Anthony Davis had 15 points and 16 rebounds, but he struggled with 5-of-21 shooting.

Duncan scored the first 10 points for San Antonio in the third quarter and Parker then ran off 10 consecutive points in a 20-11 run that cut the New Orleans lead to 65-62. But just as quickly, the Pelicans went on an 11-0 run -- seven by Morrow -- to take a 76-64 lead after three. Morrow made two free throws in the run after both Duncan and Parker were called for technical fouls.

After Davis and Gordon combined for 17 points in a 27-25 first quarter, the Pelicans ran off 11 consecutive points in 3:43 span of the second quarter to take a 44-29 lead. Morrow came off the bench and was the catalyst, scoring 11 points in the quarter on 5-of-6 shooting as New Orleans opened a 54-42 halftime lead.

Parker kept the Spurs within striking distance with 11 first-half points, but he missed all three of his jumpers from long range, and San Antonio was 2-for-8 on 3-point attempts. The Pelicans, meanwhile, got 12 points from Gordon and 10 from Davis in the first half. Davis also pulled down seven first-half rebounds.

New Orleans also outrebounded the Spurs 21-13 in the half, and Duncan was held to 2-of-8 shooting.

NOTES: Spurs G/F Danny Green, who missed the previous 10 games with a fractured left index finger, returned to the starting lineup. ... F Kawhi Leonard (broken finger) is still two or three weeks away. ... Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he has been impressed with Pelicans F Anthony Davis' improvement. "He's starting to figure out what he can do and how talented he is and how he can have an effect on the game on both ends of the court," Popovich said. ... Pelicans C Jason Smith will miss the rest of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove loose cartilage in his right knee. Smith, who averaged 9.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in 31 games, is expected to recover fully. ... Despite major injuries to PG Jrue Holiday and F Ryan Anderson, the Pelicans entered the game having won five of their previous seven. "We've always been fighting," said New Orleans coach Monty Williams. "It's just a matter of closing games out."

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