Brandon Ingram had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead three New Orleans players with double-doubles as the Pelicans won their home opener by defeating the San Antonio Spurs 98-95 on Sunday night.
Zion Williamson had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Josh Hart had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Lonzo Ball added 16 points. The Pelicans held on as Eric Bledsoe blocked DeMar DeRozan’s 3-pointer in the final second.
Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 22 points, Lonnie Walker IV scored 16, Keldon Johnson had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Dejounte Murray scored 13 and Patty Mills had 10 for the Spurs, who were completing a back-to-back after beating visiting Toronto on Saturday.
The Pelicans led 47-45 at halftime and extended the lead with a scoring spurt in the third quarter.
They scored 27 points in a little more than the first eight minutes of the quarter. Hart’s 3-pointer gave them a 74-60 lead.
But they would make only one more field goal in the period and failed to score in the final 2:20 as San Antonio pulled within 79-71 after three quarters.
The run continued into the fourth quarter. Jaxson Hayes’ layup ended New Orleans’ four-minute field-goal drought, but Gay put the Spurs ahead with a layup and added a floater that gave them an 85-82 lead with 8:23 left.
Ingram made a jumper, assisted on a Williamson basket and made two more jumpers to give the Pelicans a 90-87 lead with five minutes remaining.
Back-to-back baskets by DeRozan and Johnson put San Antonio back on top before Ingram answered.
He made a basket and a free throw, Williamson added two free throws and Steven Adams dunked to give New Orleans a 97-91 lead with 1:59 left.
The Spurs made another push but came up short.
San Antonio held an 18-16 lead at the end of the first quarter even though DeRozan was scoreless.
The Spurs led by as many as seven points early in the second quarter, and the Pelicans led by as many as six later in the quarter before New Orleans finished with a 47-45 halftime lead.