SAN ANTONIO —
Devin Vassell drove in and kicked to Doug McDermott for three to start the game. McDermott ran a dribble handoff with Jakob Poeltl, who cleaned up a miss off the glass. Dejounte Murray hit a jumper from just outside the restricted area, making it a 7-0 run to start.
Jak got an offensive rebound, and got to the line after DJ found him underneath. Poeltl blocked a shot, and Dejounte spun Valanciunas around on a crossover for a tough layup. Poeltl fouled new Pelican CJ McCollum on an and-1 layup.
Murray spun into the paint and found McDermott in the short corner for another triple.
Poeltl picked up his second foul and went to the bench for Jock Landale, with Zach Collins out and Drew Eubanks traded. New Orleans got an offensive board and a finish inside, and Pop called time up 13-10.
Landale hit a three from the top off a feed from rookie Josh Primo, then Murray pulled up from the baseline. Landale set a little screen for Lonnie Walker IV, and DJ dished it to him for a three that he stepped into and swished. The next trip, Walker drove and bounced it to Landale for a poster dunk over a pair of defenders.
DJ picked up a loose ball and lobbed it up to Lonnie, who caught the too-high pass and finished.
Walker tweaked his ankle navigating a screen, but stayed in and hit a fading stepback on the baseline.
Landale posted up late in the clock and popped it in, and after he missed one, Devontae Cacok tipped it to Primo for a layup that pushed the lead to 10. Cacok stole it and Tre Jones lobbed it to Lonnie, who smashed it home.
Keldon hit a three, but poor clock management at the end led to a running buzzer beater by Naji Marshall. San Antonio led 37-33 after one.
Naji Marshall hit a three after an offensive board, but Jak stole it and the Pelicans fouled and got T'd up. Poeltl stole another one, and Murray found McDermott for three twice in a row. Poeltl blocked a shot, and Murray took it coast to coast for a long layup to put the Spurs up 10.
NOLA stopped the 9-0 run, but Vassell knocked down a mid-range pull up off a screen. The Pelicans cut San Antonio's lead down to three and played great defense for 20 seconds, but Vassell bailed out the possession with a pass over the top to Jock for an open dunk.
Keldon found Poeltl on a roll for a layup off the glass, then Johnson rainbowed home a three off a feed from Murray. San Antonio led 59-53 at halftime.
New Orleans opened on a 10-5 run to cut San Antonio's advantage to 1, but Dejounte Murray settled things down with free throws and Keldon turned a steal into an and-1 through Brandon Ingram.
Murray swished a corner three off a feed from Devin, and pushed the lead back to 7.
Keldon got robbed of an and-1, but McDermott got three free throws on an attempt from deep. The Pelicans challenged unsuccessfully, and Doug put the Spurs up 10. Murray drove in and drained it from the top to give the Spurs their largest lead at 12. Then he shook McCollum and drove baseline for an and-1 reverse. After a timeout, Murray hit a three off a handoff to push it to 15.
Valanciunas put in a quick 5-0 run, but Lonnie cut from the corner and Poeltl lobbed it for another alley-oop layup. The Pelicans got within single digits, but Murray crossed over and scored at the rim. Murray posted up and found Walker on another cut for another layup.
Landale tapped an offensive board to Tre Jones, who drove in for a layup off the glass. Primo forced a turnover and drew a foul, then Jones attacked with the floor spaced for a saucy reverse. Landale blocked a shot, and Primo hit a corner three to make it a 7-0 run and an 18-point Spurs lead. McCollum answered, and when Lonnie stepped back and shot from beyond the arc, he got called for an offensive foul kicking his legs out.
San Antonio outscored the Pelicans 39-29 in the third, taking a 98-82 lead.
Devin Vassell caught on a cut and faded for a jumper in the paint, then picked off what would have been a sure dunk.
CJ McCollum got hot and cut the Spurs lead down to 10, and Pop called timeout with 9 minutes left to bring in Dejounte Murray, who immediately drained a jumper and forced a turnover. Walker hit a jumper, then poked away a pass. Murray hit a mid-range jumper to put the Spurs up 14, then Keldon got one, then Dejounte again.
San Antonio dodged a number of bullets from deep, and Keldon spun in for another paint jumper and-1. Murray got a switch on Valanciunas, crossed him up, and drilled it from the elbow giving him 31 points. Lonnie backed the defense off and pulled up to put the Spurs back up 18.
Vassell drained a three for good measure, and Murray set up Poeltl with his 12th assist as the Pelicans ran out of possessions. San Antonio won 124-114, moving to 22-35 on the year.
The San Antonio Spurs (21-35) will continue their 2022 Rodeo Road Trip tonight as they visit the New Orleans Pelicans (22-33) in a second game of a back-to-back. The Spurs are 1-1 on the Rodeo Trip, and this is a key matchup with the race for the play-in heating up.
In their previous game, San Antonio beat Atlanta, 105-92.
Spurs guard Dejounte Murray led the team with 32 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season and becoming the new franchise leader in that category surpassing team great David Robinson.
The win over the Hawks also moved Gregg Popovich within five wins of becoming the all-time winningest coach in the regular-season.
Devin Vassell had 20 points and Keldon Johnson added 26 points in 33 minutes. Rookie Joshua Primo had 13 points off the bench.
San Antonio also connected on 12 three-pointers in the first half and their 136 points total tied for the team's third-highest total of the season.
Here are five things to watch for in tonight's game against New Orleans:
1. The Spurs are 5-6 in the second game of a back-to-back.
2. The Spurs have won three straight versus the Pelicans.
3. The Pelicans are ranked 8th in the NBA in fast-break points per game at 13.4.
4. Pelicans' CJ McCollum is tied for 8th in the NBA in made three-pointers per game (3.1).
5. Pelicans' Brandon Ingram is one of two NBA players to average 22.5-plus points, five-plus assists, 5.7-plus rebounds, and three or fewer turnovers per game.
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