SAN ANTONIO – Tim Duncan had 12 points as the San Antonio Spurs beat New Orleans 96-80 for their 17th straight victory to match the longest win streak in franchise history.
Marco Belinelli scored 18 points on four-of-five shooting from three-point range for the Spurs, who also have the longest winning run in the NBA this season. Duncan also had eight rebounds.
“This team has a really high basketball IQ and everyone knows that,” said Spurs forward Austin Daye. “I feel blessed to be in this situation.”
It is the longest win streak for the Spurs since the 1995-96 team won 17 consecutive games.
Manu Ginobili, who came off the bench, and Kawhi Leonard each scored 15 points with five rebounds for San Antonio, while Austin Daye added 13 points in the win.
Ginobili says he doesn’t mind not being a starter.
“I like to see what is going on, see how they are playing defense and what we need,” he said.
Brian Roberts came off the bench to score 18 points for the Pelicans, who had their five-game winning habit broken.
Austin Rivers recorded 16 points in a reserve role and Tyreke Evans added 11 points in the loss.
“They jumped on us,” said Evans.
The Spurs have won all four meetings against the Pelicans this season and five straight over their Southwest Division foes.
New Orleans came into the game having knocked off some high calibre teams during their own unbeaten run.
The Pelicans beat the reigning champion Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers before defeating the Utah Jazz.