Pop Outcoaches Former Spur Williams
Game 16: Spurs 109, Hornets 95 // Record 14-2
“Bottom line is I got outcoached… Coach Pop made move after move and I didn’t make the adjustment.”
— Hornets coach Monty Williams
It was all Hornets in the first half, as New Orleans outscored San Antonio 61-44. David West accounted for 16 of the Hornets 34 points in the first quarter. I was reminded of past match-ups in The Hive when West lit up the Spurs early.
If you missed the game, watch the first half highlights for yourself. They ain’t pretty.
Everything changed in the second half, as Brett Martel writes for AP Sports:
San Antonio trailed by 17 at halftime, and after a brief surge, went down again by 17 when Belinelli’s 3 made it 68-51 with 9:27 left in the third quarter.
The Spurs responded with a 10-0 run capped by Jefferson’s 3 to make it 68-61.
The Spurs entered the fourth quarter still trailing 77-72, but hit their first nine shots of the period to surge into the lead for good.
Jefferson started the surge with a driving floater along the baseline. Then Gary Neal(notes) completed the comeback with a 3 to tie it at 77 and Antonio McDyess(notes) added a jumper to give the Spurs their first lead since they were up 14-13 in the middle of the first quarter.
After West tied it at 79, Jefferson and Ginobili hit back-to-back 3s and the Spurs started to pull away, taking their first double-digit lead when Hill drained an off balance jumper as he was fouled and hit the free throw to make it 94-84 with 6:58 to go.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich went with a different philosophy to defend David West in the second half. Ginobili said the Spurs blitzed West as they threw double teams at West nearly ever time he touched the ball in the second half. In particular, Antonio McDyess and George Hill held West in check in the fourth quarter. West ended with 23 points.
The Spurs’ Richard Jefferson scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, but was a major factor in the second half when he scored 12 of his 19 points in the final 24 minutes.
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