New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson wasn't happy with the way his team started the game against the San Antonio Spurs as the forward underlined their effort in the first half wasn't where it needed to be. It was a must-win game for Pelicans if they wanted to keep any chances of making the postseason but they failed to deliver as the Spurs won 122-113.
The Spurs, who opened a quick 14-3 lead, led 62-45 at the halftime, and though the Pelicans won the third quarter by 13 points to cut the deficit to only four points, they failed to complete their comeback. "That lack of spirit in the first half really dictates the second half," Williamson said after the game, as quoted on ESPN.
"If we came out better, maybe we would've had a different outcome. You just have to learn from that experience and be better." Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick of last year's NBA draft, admits there is a lot for them to learn and grow.
"Every team has some kind of adversity they have to work through," Williamson said. "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."
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry not thrilled with effort wither
Gentry claimed he did everything he could to motivate his team but they failed to respond.
"We talked about it, and it is a Game 7. We did need to approach it like it was a Game 7," Gentry said. "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."
Pelicans guard JJ Redick, who scored 31 points and hit eight pointers, wasn't happy with the lack of spirit the team showed at the beginning of the game. "We've had a couple games like that down here for whatever reason," Redick said.
"Our group eventually picked it back up and whittled that lead back down to a one-possession game. We just didn't start the game right. For the whole first, to be honest -- not just starters, whole first half."