The New Orleans Pelicans, led by CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, delivered a stunning performance against the San Antonio Spurs, setting a new franchise record with 22 3-pointers in a dominant 146-110 victory on Sunday. This remarkable feat comes as the Pelicans continue to assert themselves as a formidable force in the league.
A Night of Exceptional Performances
McCollum's 29 points and Ingram's 26 were pivotal in driving the Pelicans' offense, which seemed virtually unstoppable against the Spurs. This victory marked the fourth instance this season where the Spurs have lost by 36 points or more, a trend that began last season under coach Gregg Popovich.
"They had a great night shooting. We couldn’t throw it in the ocean," Popovich said, acknowledging the Pelicans' superiority on the night.Amidst the Spurs' struggle, rookie Victor Wembanyama emerged as a standout performer.
He notched his eighth consecutive double-double, surpassing Dwight Howard's NBA record for a teenager set in 2005. Wembanyama's achievement was witnessed by his childhood idol and mentor, former San Antonio All-Star Tony Parker, who was present for a halftime ceremony honoring his induction into the Hall of Fame.
The ceremony for Parker, who was inducted alongside Popovich, Becky Hammon, Pau Gasol, Dwyane Wade, and Dirk Nowitzki, provided a rare moment of celebration for Spurs fans at the Frost Bank Center.
Pelicans' Strategy and Spurs' Struggles
The Pelicans showcased a robust strategy, particularly in their three-point shooting, going 22 for 42 from beyond the arc.
This victory contributes to their four-game winning streak since their semifinals loss in the In-Season Tournament.
Zion Williamson, reflecting on the team's success, succinctly stated, "We’re winning. Winning cures everything."Conversely, the Spurs faced another setback just two days after breaking their franchise-record, 18-game losing streak with a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Their record since November 1 stands at a concerning 2-19, with an overall 4-20, placing them just above Detroit in the league standings.
Wembanyama, despite his personal success, emphasized the need for consistency and accountability within the team.
"It might explain it, but it doesn’t mean it’s OK," he said, addressing the team's challenges.