NEW ORLEANS (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge played with a sore left wrist to finish with 28 points and 12 rebounds, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 126-114 victory over the depleted New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.
Rudy Gay had 22 points, including 11 in the third quarter, and 11 rebounds to help San Antonio snap a two-game skid.
Aldridge had 12 points during a decisive spurt in the third quarter as the Spurs used a 25-12 run to extend a three-point halftime lead to 85-69. The Spurs shot 55 percent from the field in the period and outscored the Pelicans 36-28.
New Orleans played without four key injured contributors — Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic and E’Twaun Moore — but the Spurs also had to overcome the absence of leading scorer DeMar DeRozan.
Jrue Holiday had a game-high 29 points to lead the Pelicans, and Jahlil Okafor added 24 points and 15 rebounds.
The short-handed Pelicans, who lost their third straight game, battled hard. Okafor went up against Aldridge, scoring 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds in the first half. Aldridge led the Spurs with 16 first-half points on 7-of-13 shooting as San Antonio took a 60-57 lead at the half.
Spurs: DeRozan (21.5 ppg) was sidelined with a sore left knee, and coach Gregg Popovich said the rest may be beneficial because DeRozan is suffering from an assortment of “bumps and bruises.” … Aldridge tested his sore left wrist in pregame warmups and played through the pain.
Pelicans: Saturday was the anniversary of the Achilles injury that ended the season of former Pelicans C DeMarcus Cousins and eventually saw him sign with Golden State. … F Julius Randle sat out with a sprained right ankle. … Coach Alvin Gentry said his team, which ranked 13th in the Western Conference, will not have “a pity party” because of injuries to Davis (sprained left index finger) and Mirotic (sprained right calf). Davis missed his fourth consecutive game — the Pelicans are 1-3 during that stretch — and Mirotic his second. … Davis injured the finger Jan. 18 but could return next week. “I still say eventually we’ll be healthy enough and have enough guys that we’re going to make a run at it,” Gentry said. “We’ve proven when we’re healthy that we’re pretty good.” … Gentry said G Elfrid Payton still is bothered by the left finger he broke in November that caused him to miss 22 games.
Spurs: Host Washington on Sunday night to open a four-game homestand.
Pelicans: Visit Houston on Tuesday night.