Pelicans set franchise record with 22 3-pointers, roll past Wembanyama, Spurs
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 29 points, Brandon Ingram added 26 and the New Orleans Pelicans set a franchise record with 22 3-pointers in rolling past Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs 146-110 on Sunday.
It marked the fourth time the Spurs have lost by 36 points or more this season after seven such losses last season under Gregg Popovich.
“They had a great night shooting. We couldn’t throw it in the ocean," Popovich said. "But on top of shooting well, they played very well. We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be and got whooped, real good.”
Wembanyama was one of the few highlights.
He had 17 points and 13 rebounds in front of former San Antonio All-Star Tony Parker, his childhood idol in France and later mentor. Wembanyama’s eighth consecutive double-double surpassed the previous NBA record by a teenager of seven straight set by Dwight Howard in 2005.
The Spurs unveiled a Hall of Fame designation on Parker’s retired jersey during a halftime ceremony. Parker was inducted in August along with San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich and former Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, along with Pau Gasol, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki.
Parker’s ceremony was the only time Spurs fans at the Frost Bank Center were able to have a sustained celebration Sunday.
Wembanyama kept his right arm aloft after draining a 3-pointer that cut New Orleans’ advantage to 58-49 with 53 seconds remaining in first half. Ingram silenced the crowd nine seconds later with his own 3.
It was a response the Pelicans had all game. New Orleans was 22 for 42 on 3-pointers.
The Pelicans have won four straight since losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament.
“We’re winning,” Zion Williamson said. “Winning cures everything.”
The Spurs lost two days after snapping a franchise-record, 18-game skid with a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. San Antonio is 2-19 since Nov. 1 and 4-20 overall, the worst in the Western Conference and above only Detroit (2-24) in the league.
San Antonio has the youngest roster in the league, but its youngest player said consistency is a bigger factor.
“It might explain it, but it doesn’t mean it’s OK,” Wembanyama said. “We’re not trying to find any excuses. Any team’s goal is to try to be consistent. We’re underway, but there’s no excuses.”
Wembanyama made his first two shots, a sweeping hook on a drive past Ingram and a two-handed dunk.
The Pelicans missed their first five attempts, including a breakaway dunk that Williamson fumbled out of bounds as he rose to the rim. Williamson smiled and shook his head from the time he lost the ball until he jogged back defensively.
The good fortune didn’t last for the Spurs.
The Pelicans went on a 12-2 run and built a 20-point lead in the first half. The Spurs have trailed by 20 points in eight games this season, losing all but one.
“Obviously, the first five minutes, we were playing great and then we kind of lost our energy,” the Spurs' Cedi Osman said. “I think that it was just their day, I would say.”
Williamson finished with 15 points.
“Our mentality is to go out there and take care of our jobs,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “It starts with the defense for us, making sure we contest shots and finish possessions.”
Pelicans: Host Memphis on Tuesday.
Spurs: At Milwaukee on Tuesday.