SPURS GAMEDAY: Davis' dominance has keyed Pelicans' surge in February

Forward/center Anthony Davis coming off 53-point, 18-rebound game.


New Orleans Pelicans (34-26) vs. Spurs (36-25)

When, where: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., AT&T Center

Season series: Pelicans lead 1-0

Last meeting: Pelicans 107, Spurs 90, Nov. 22, New Orleans

Spurs’ last game: Beat Cavaliers 110-94, Sunday, Cleveland

Pelicans’ last game: Beat Suns 125-116, Monday, New Orleans

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Pelicans’ last 10 games, streak: 7-3, won six

Spurs’ last 10 games, streak: 4-6, won one

Spurs’ injury report: Pau Gasol (bone bruise, left knee) and Kawhi Leonard (rehabbing quad injury) are out.for Wednesday's game.

Notable: Spur Dejounte Murray is the only point guard in the NBA this season to record 4+ steals and 3+ blocks in a single game . . . The Silver and Black are 17-5 this season when LaMarcus Aldridge scores at least 25 points.


Heartened by their 16-point victory over King James and the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Sunday, the Spurs face another of the NBA's top players Wednesday night when they play their first home game in nearly a month.

After going against LeBron James, the Silver and Black are girding for New Orleans forward/center Anthony Davis, who continued his monster month Monday with 53 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks in a 125-116 home win over Phoenix.

While Davis' scoring total is the fourth highest in the NBA this season, he joined Bob McAdoo (Buffalo Braves, 1974) as the only players in NBA history to record 50+ plus points, 15+ rebounds and 5+ blocks in a single game.

"He's a pretty unique player," veteran Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said Tuesday after practice. "He has it all. He has an amazing combination of athleticism, skill, IQ, shots. He can make shots as a roller. You've just got to be wary about the lobs, or the back to the basket . He has the whole package, and he's young and motivated. So, yeah, he's one of those players that's so hard to guard in his prime. He's a super All-Star."

Davis' dominant play has sparked the Pelicans (34-26) to a six-game winning streak. New Orleans is sixth in the Western Conference standings, just 1.5 games behind fourth-place San Antonio (36-25). Wednesday will be the second of four meetings between the teams this season.

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Led by Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans beat the Spurs 107-90 on Nov. 22 in New Orleans. Davis finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Cousins had 24 points and 15 boards. Cousins, the team's starting center, sustained a season-ending Achilles injury Jan. 26 in a game against Houston.

Davis has averaged 33.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.6 blocks in the 12 games since Cousins tore his Achilles. He been even more productive during the Pelicans' six-game winning streak, averaging 41.5 points, 15.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 3.2 steals and 3.2 blocks.

"Video game stats," Spurs guard Danny Green said. "He's doing well. It's going to be a tough matchup for all of us. We can't put it on just one guy. All of us have to work really hard to contain him, stop him. LA (LaMarcus Aldridge) usually does a good job night in and night out. It's going to take a group to not just stop him but all those other guys that are playing well."

Spurs guard Danny Green, guarding Oklahoma City star point guard Russell Westbrook, scored 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 5 of 9 from the three-point line, in Sunday's 110-94 victory against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
(Antonio Morano bit.ly/XR79FT / Special to Kens5.com), KENS

The Spurs' task of trying to slow down Davis became harder when starting center Pau Gasol was listed as out for Wednesday's game with a bone bruise in his left knee. Reserve Joffrey Lauvergne most likely will get extended minutes to help San Antonio's interior defense.

All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, still sidelined with tendinopathy in his right quadriceps, will miss his 53rd game of the season.

The Silver and Black broke out of a four-game skid and capped their annual Rodeo Road Trip with their 110-94 over the Cavs on Sunday.

"We really needed that game against Cleveland," Ginobili said. "We were coming from a tough stretch, a very unusual stretch for us, and we really wanted it. We played a good game. We shot much better.

"Everything got aligned better. It was very important for us to come back to this building in a better mood and feeling better about ourselves with that little push that that game might have given us."

In another matter, Ginobili and Green said they were glad the Cavaliers took swift action against the fan who yelled racial taunts at Spurs guard Patty Mills late in Sunday's game. The fan will be barred from events at Quicken Loans Arena for a year and the Cavs will review the ban after one year.

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"I think it's great to see that other teams, other organizations, have each other's back Green said. "It's still a fraternity. Still looking out for the players regardless of what team they're playing against, or who's on the floor. They're making fans be accountable for what their actions are. It's a great thing."

Ginobili said he and Mills talked about the incident on the flight back from Cleveland.

"He told me what happened," Ginobili said. "I didn't even hear it. It's great that things like that are not being allowed to happen again. If not, it would be very hypocritical. Here with all the equality shoes and Black History Month and all that, and then we allow stuff like that. It can't be allowed. So, it's good that it happened (Cavs taking swift action). I don't know how they found him, but, yeah, it's awesome."

Up next for the Spurs after Wednesday's game: vs. Lakers, Saturday, 8 p.m., AT&T Center