The New Orleans Pelicans were eliminated from NBA playoff contention on Sunday after a 122-113 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Rookie of the Year finalist Zion Williamson said that his team’s efforts to start the game was “not acceptable” and caused more problems in the second half.
Williamson seemed distraught at the loss after he wasn’t able to get as many minutes as he wished after the restart of the season in Orlando. He returned to the bubble after leaving for a ‘family emergency‘.
“Every team has some kind of adversity they have to work through.”
“Ours, we have good communication. Just at times, we don’t use it, and it shows. … We just have to put ourselves in a better position to win. We can’t come out like we did in the first half. Simple as that “, said Zion Williamson in a post-match interview.
The Pelicans fell behind 17 points in the first half before starting to come back. Pelicans guard J.J Redick also blamed the poor start to the game for the loss to the Spurs and admitted to lacking a competitive spirit to open the game up.
Zion Williamson got crucial playing time
Zion Williamson played 27 minutes, his highest single-game total since the NBA resumed in Orlando.
He scored 25 point, with 10-20 shooting from the field while also grabbing 7 rebounds. However, he ended the game at 21 in terms of plus-minus, the second-worst mark of any player in the game.
The Pelicans reached Orlando with an excellent chance to at least reach a play-in series for the final seed in the Western Conference.
But, with Portland TrailBlazers beating the Philadelphia 76ers, the Pelicans have been officially eliminated from this season’s competition.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was disappointed with the performance and would now be focusing on a better start to the 2020-21 NBA season.
“We talked about it, and it is a Game 7. We did need to approach it like it was a Game 7.”
“Obviously, we fell behind early. Defensively, we weren’t into the ball early on. I don’t have an explanation for that. I wish I did. But that’s the only way you’re going to beat a team like that. You have to be willing to play, you have to execute, and you have to protect the basketball, and those things we struggled with today.”
Other NBA Results of the Day :
Boston Celtics 122 – 119 Orlando Magic
Portland TrailBlazers 124 – 121 Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings 112 – 129 Houston Rockets
LA Clippers 120 – 129 Brooklyn Nets
Memphis Grizzlies 99 – 108 Toronto Raptors
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