SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs were hit by a couple of surprise attacks. They overcame both.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 14 rebounds and the Spurs withstood another bat intrusion — with a nifty play from the team’s coyote mascot — and held off the depleted New Orleans Pelicans 113-108 on Saturday night.
“The hardest teams to play against in this league is the guys that want to be out there and play that don’t get the opportunity to play that much,” said San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan, who had 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. “Because they’re going to bring a whole type of intensity and type of play that you’re probably not used to. A lot of things come unexpected and they really have nothing to lose.”
The Spurs led for all but the opening basket in successfully sweeping a four-game homestand, but their fifth straight victory didn’t come with some drama.
A bat began hovering above the court three minutes into the game, causing officials to delay play. It was the second straight home game delayed by the winged intruders, with three bats buzzing the court on Thursday night against Brooklyn. Arena workers were able to shoo the bats into the rafters against the Nets, but the Spurs were better prepared against the Pelicans.
A worker caught and placed the bat into a towel and took him from the court, with play resuming after a delay of only over one minute.
“I threw to hit it with the ball,” Aldridge said. “I tried to, but I wasn’t the hero tonight.”
Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli added 17 points each for San Antonio.
Anthony Davis was among five injured players out for New Orleans. Davis, who is listed out with a sprained left index finger, has not played since informing the Pelicans he wants to be traded from the franchise that drafted him first overall out of Kentucky in 2012.
“We never give up,” Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday said. “I feel like people think because we’re short-handed or whatever may be, that we’re going to get blown out but we haven’t had many blowouts this year. That’s because we’re always going to fight until there’s zero on the clock, no matter who’s playing.”