Spurs Top Pelicans 112-97

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 112-97. Derrick White led the Spurs with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists, while Dejounte Murray added 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the victory, his 4th triple-double of the season and 8th of his career. Brandon Ingram tallied 27 PTS, 7 rebounds and 9 assists for the Pelicans in the losing effort. The Spurs improve to 10-16 on the season, while the Pelicans fall to 8-21.

Postgame Reaction:

Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

(On Derrick White, Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl…)

“[Derrick White] is kind of ridiculous right now, isn’t he? When he, and [Dejounte Murray] and Jakob [Poeltl] play like that, we have an opportunity to win basketball games. They were just relentless defensively, on the boards. We didn’t make threes again, which has not been our greatest deal this year, but we didn’t give up 28 points off of turnovers. We played very good defense. If you don’t make the threes, obviously you better hit the board and you better be playing good defense, so you can stay in the game. They did that fantastically. Those three led the way. Everybody else joined in. That was a great team effort.”

(On the guards getting a rapport with Jakob Poeltl…)

“I think so. They have more confidence in him scoring. He’s getting into positions where he can receive the basketball. That synergy is going pretty well.”

(On the guards…)

“There’s no formula for that kind of stuff. Derrick has played like this before. It has just taken him a while to get his confidence back after the injury. DJ has been steady. Every game, he’s doing a little bit of everything. Keeping everybody together. The two of them work very well side-by-side. And now they have included Jakob. Everybody else that’s been out there: Lonnie, Keldon, Devin, Drew; they feel more comfortable if those guys are leading the way. We can’t expect the bench to do that every night. When our starters play like that, then we’re in much better shape.”

Spurs Center Jakob Poeltl

(On tonight’s game…)

“I think it was an all-around solid game. We were aggressive on offense. I think that’s something we were missing that last game against Denver. So, I was pretty happy about that.”

(On the pick-and-roll success…)

“Same thing. Aggressive on offense, especially in those pick-and-roll situations. We didn’t hesitate. Derrick and DJ were attacking pretty hard, and then I was trying to be aggressive in my rolls and getting to the rim. It’s a matter of chemistry. I feel like we’ve been doing a really good job with that. A lot of those pick-and-rolls with DJ, getting more and more with Derrick as well. It’s just about finding the best shot for the team.”

Spurs Guard Derrick White 

(on tonight’s game…)

“Just moving the ball and getting good shots. We didn’t shoot it great, but just continue to get good looks, be aggressive and finish around the hoop.”

(On Jakob Poeltl…)

“He’s a good guy to pass to. He can make the floater, does his euro thing, whatever you want to call that. He does a good job of finding that open spot, and we just got to find him.”

(On the chemistry of the team…)

“That’s what makes this team so fun. Everybody likes each other. Everybody wants to see each other succeed. I’m always happy seeing; I mean, [Jakob] did well, Tre had a good game today, Lonnie. You can just go down the list.”

Spurs Forward Doug McDermott

(On Jakob Poeltl…)

He was great tonight. Obviously, he sets really good screens, and it’s good to reward him. He’s not just a good finisher around the rim, he’s really good at making plays from there, finding other guys. He’s huge for us. He gets his hand on everything. Compared to some other guys I’ve played with in the past, he does a really good job of finding shooters out of it. Sometimes those are the best threes you can get are ones off offensive rebounds. He’s always looking for you. It’s a luxury to have him. He’s around the rim on both ends of the floor. He’s just very comforting to have out there, for a guy like myself. He’s huge for me.”

(On his versatility…)

“I think it’s part of the way they’re defending me a little bit. Kind of pressuring me up at the perimeter. I feel like I’m more than just a spot-up shooter, so I like to try to get to the rim every once in a while and keep the defense honest. Obviously, I want to try to get a three up if I can, but if they’re overplaying me like that, I like to back-cut. I trust my ability to finish around the rim.”

(On the Spurs Defense…)

“Defense travels. That’s kind of what sparked our road trip in Portland and Golden State. And in Phoenix, we thought we had a chance, too. I think it started on the defensive end of the floor, and that carried over to the offensive end. As long as we can continue to defend, we know that shots are not always going to fall, so you got to hang your hat on defense. That’s what the coaching staff preaches every day, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

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