|Date of game: 12/31/2014
Recap: San Antonio vs. New Orleans
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Manu Ginobili capped off a 26-point night with a go-ahead layup with 24 seconds left in overtime, with the basket giving the San Antonio Spurs a much-needed 95-93 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Ginobili's big game, along with a fortunate bounce to close out regulation, helped the Spurs get back in the win column following a rough 2-7 stretch that included a loss to the Pelicans in New Orleans on Friday.
New Orleans had taken an 84-82 edge on Anthony Davis' second-chance slam with 0.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Hornets' Omer Asik inadvertently tipped in Boris Diaw's inbounds pass for Tim Duncan as the buzzer sounded to force extra time.
"I don't know what that was," said Duncan, who was credited with the basket. "I can't explain that one, but I'll take it. That was more luck than anything in the world, so I'll take that with me. We deserve one."
Duncan finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Davis had 21 points, 12 boards and four steals to pace the Pelicans.
Ryan Anderson also recorded a double-double for New Orleans, amassing 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jrue Holiday posted 13 points and nine assists in the loss.
The Hornets fought back from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter to claim an 81-80 lead on two Tyreke Evans free throws with 20.3 seconds remaining. Duncan sank a short hook on the other end to even the score, but Davis threw down the rebound of Evans' missed layup with nearly no time remaining to send New Orleans back in front.
Following a timeout, Diaw threw up a pass for Duncan as the star center was jockeying with Asik underneath the basket. Asik got a hand on the ball while trying to knock it out of bounds, but the attempt landed right in the net before time expired.
The Hornets recovered to start the overtime strong, putting forth a 7-2 run capped by Davis' steal that led to a run-out layup by Jimmer Fredette that gave New Orleans a 91-86 advantage.
Ginobili scored the next five points, however, and Danny Green blocked Evans going to the hoop and was fouled on the rebound with 40.3 seconds to play. He hit 1-of-2 free throws to put San Antonio up 91-90.
Davis then took matters into his own hands, going strong to the basket and converting a layup while being fouled with 36.7 seconds on the clock.
He missed the free throw, however, and Duncan found a cutting Ginobili on the ensuing possession for the go-ahead points. Evans then misfired on a 3-point try and Duncan came down with the rebound to seal the outcome.
"I just feel bad for our guys," said Pelicans head coach Monty Williams. "To fight like we did on a back-to-back and have the game in your hands and losing it in regulation like that, then fighting like heck in overtime and not be able to pull it out."
New Orleans trailed 62-52 with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, but Fredette put up eight straight points to close out the period. His jumper with seven minutes to go had the Hornets ahead by a 74-73 count.
The Spurs finished out the first half on a roll, using an 7-2 spurt to open up a 34-26 lead with four minutes left in the second quarter. San Antonio owned a 38-28 advantage at the break, with the Hornets shooting a poor 27.5 percent over the first two frames.
San Antonio led by as many as 12 points early in the third quarter.Game Notes
Evans finished with 15 points for New Orleans, with Fredette scoring 14 off
the bench ... The Hornets had won the previous two meetings between the clubs
this season, including a 100-99 triumph at San Antonio on Nov. 8 ... Hornets
swingman John Salmons missed the game due to a personal matter ... Ginobili
went 5-of-8 from 3-point range, but the Spurs shot just 25 percent (6-of-24)
as a team from beyond the arc.