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National Basketball Association
Preview
San Antonio at New Orleans
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Pelicans are facing a must-win in the final game of the regular season as they attempt to hold off the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. The Pelicans won’t get much sympathy on Wednesday from the visiting San Antonio Spurs, who are fighting for the No. 2 spot.

New Orleans is tied with the Thunder but owns the head-to-head tiebreaker, meaning the Pelicans get the spot opposite top-seeded Golden State in the first round if both win on Wednesday. Anthony Davis helped ensure New Orleans would control its own destiny by putting up 24 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in a 100-88 win at Minnesota on Monday. “We know that we’ve got the upper hand,” Davis told reporters. “We know if we tie we are in (the playoffs) so we just need to go out there and play. The pressure is really on (the Thunder).” Just going out and playing might not be enough against the Spurs, who are coming in with an 11-game winning streak.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (San Antonio), FSN New Orleans

ABOUT THE SPURS (55-26): San Antonio was battling for the No. 7 seed at the end of February but has since won 21 of 24 to reestablish itself as a title contender. The Spurs are battling the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies for the second-best record in the West and can lock up homecourt advantage in the first round with a win on Wednesday. San Antonio is riding 38-year-old Tim Duncan of late, and the future Hall of Famer has responded with 51 points on 19-of-26 shooting, 20 rebounds and five blocks combined in the last two games.

ABOUT THE PELICANS (44-37): New Orleans has won seven of its last 10 games to put itself in this position, but those three losses have all come against West teams above it in the standings. Those three all came on the road and the Pelicans have taken four straight in their own building. “We’re learning how to win big games and we have a chance to do something that this group hasn’t done before, and that’s play in the playoffs,” guard Quincy Pondexter told reporters. “It’s (Davis’) first time and a couple other guys’ first time, so they just need to embrace the moment, have fun with it and hopefully we make it.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Pelicans have taken two of the three meetings this season, including a 97-90 home win on Dec. 26.

2. San Antonio C Tiago Splitter (calf) is expected to miss his sixth straight game.

3. New Orleans G Jrue Holiday (leg) was rested on Monday but is expected to play in the finale.

PREDICTION: Spurs 101, Pelicans 98
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
San Antonio 55-26 W11 33-8 22-18 4-1 51-25 8-7 32-19
New Orleans 44-37 W1 27-13 17-24 5-4 39-33 7-8 28-23
Last Meeting
San Antonio New Orleans
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/31/14 NO 93 SA 95 95 48 43.8 93 52 38.2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
San Antonio M. Ginobili 26 52.9 3
New Orleans A. Davis 21 66.7 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
San Antonio T. Duncan 10 0 10
New Orleans O. Asik 12 3 9
Assists Player  
San Antonio T. Duncan 5
New Orleans J. Holiday 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
San Antonio T. Duncan 1083 50.9 235
New Orleans A. Davis 1733 54.0 388
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
San Antonio T. Duncan 717 174 543
New Orleans O. Asik 799 255 544
Assists Player  
San Antonio T. Parker 355
New Orleans T. Evans 526
Quickchart Matchup
San Antonio Off vs  New Orleans Defense
103.2 Points For
98.5 Points Against
46.7 FG%
45.5 FG%
43.7 Reb
41.6 Reb
New Orleans Off vs  San Antonio Defense
99.2 Points For
96.9 Points Against
45.7 FG%
44.3 FG%
41.6 Reb
42.2 Reb