Pelicans (11-7), Spurs (6-13)
Zion Williamson caused huge damage in the colour, Devonte’ Graham bombed outside shots and Jonas Valanciunas did a little of both on Wednesday, leading New Orleans to a lopsided win away in San Antonio. The Pelicans wrapped up the deal quickly before returning to the Crescent City for the Thanksgiving celebrations, growing double digits in the first quarter and building a 66-47 lead at halftime. New Orleans surpassed 100 points at the end of the third period and achieved a second straight win over a Western Conference opponent. Williamson accumulated 30 of his 32 points in the first three quarters while Graham drilled five threes in the first half to finish with six threes among his 21 points. Valanciunas added four long balls, scoring 17 first-half points and finishing on 22.
Jose Alvarado waved a right three-pointer to give New Orleans a 110-87 lead, the night’s widest at that point, with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation. The Pelicans put it away by scoring six of the first eight points in the fourth quarter.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
A force to be reckoned with from the jump, Williamson continued to score in the first three quarters with eight, nine and 13 points in each period before sitting out for much of the fourth. He was a layup machine, spinning from post-ups around San Antonio defenders or dribbles in and around Spurs from 18-20ft and rising to the edge. Referring to Monday’s game against Golden State, Williamson, when asked if he feels physically on the court after the more than year hiatus he’s endured, said, “On defense, I’m starting to slow down my moves find and feel the game. actually see the game. I was happy about the last game. This game sort of spilled over into my offense.
Zion Williamson (32 points) Highlights vs San Antonio Spurs 11/23/2022
11: Consecutive shots from Williamson field in the last three quarters.
14/33: Three-point shooting in New Orleans, continuing a recent trend in this category that’s regularly a big plus for the Pelicans.
56.6: Pelicans shoot from the field. Two of the team’s top three games of the season in this category came in its last two games (season-high remains 57.9 percent against Dallas on Oct. 25).
GAME FANDUEL KEY REFRESH
THANKSGIVING (EVE) DISHES
Another great night at Dishing Assists. New Orleans had 19 at halftime and finished with 33. Thirty is generally considered a very good night by a team. Brandon Ingram led individually by 10 dimes, one more than Alvarado’s nine assists.
EVERYONE IS EATING
Two nights after 13 different Pelicans players scored in the home win against Golden State, all 12 New Orleans players who saw action scored in an away win in San Antonio.
FILLING (THE COLOR) IN SAN ANTONE
San Antonio actually won by surprise 25-23 in the first half, but New Orleans took over in the second half, ending with a 52-47 advantage. It helped the Spurs that starting center Jakob Pöltl (14 rebounds) played after he recently missed games due to injury.
Over five weeks into the regular season, who is the best team in the West? That’s hard to answer, but perhaps the Phoenix Suns — who reached the NBA Finals in 2021 and set the NBA’s all-time high with 64 wins last season — can make the best argument. They went into action on Wednesday No. 1 in net standings and finished first overall, albeit by a slim margin. Fans voted Phoenix the best club in the West yet from four options, and gave the Suns 42 percent of the Twitter ballot (surprisingly, Utah was next with 31 percent, followed by Sacramento with 25 percent).