Spurs head to New Orleans, face new-look Pelicans on Friday

Tip-off scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on ESPN, KENS

SAN ANTONIO,TX - DECEMBER 18: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots over San Antonio Spurs players at AT&T Center on December 18, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs might have a chance to chase down the Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the Western Conference and they seek their sixth consecutive victory when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

The Spurs have been in close pursuit of Golden State and the Warriors could be wobbly after losing star forward Kevin Durant for at least four weeks due to a knee injury.

Star small forward Kawhi Leonard contributed 31 points and 10 rebounds and knocked down the winning shot with 2.4 seconds left as San Antonio recorded a 100-99 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

"Just something you think about when you're a kid and you're in your front yard or at your school playing and you just count down 3, 2, 1," Leonard told reporters. "But I would rather us play a better game and close it out without leaving the last shot up to me, but that's what happened and I had to respond for my team."

New Orleans rolled to a 109-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak. The impressive showing came with recently acquired center DeMarcus Cousins serving a one-game suspension for receiving his 18th technical foul of the season.

TV: 8:30 p.m. CT, ESPN, KENS

ABOUT THE SPURS (46-13): Leonard scored 30 points on 20 occasions this season to become just the fourth player in San Antonio history to achieve that milestone. George Gervin -- the Hall of Famer known as "The Iceman" -- did it seven times while David Robinson accomplished it four times and Tim Duncan did it once. The contest against New Orleans is San Antonio's ninth road game in the past 10 as the Spurs just went 6-2 on their annual "Rodeo Trip" and stand 26-7 on the road this season.

ABOUT THE PELICANS (24-37): New Orleans has to yet to win a game with Cousins on the floor as he has averaged 23.3 points and 12.7 rebounds in his first three games since being acquired from Sacramento. Power forward Anthony Davis registered 33 points and 14 rebounds against the Pistons for his third consecutive 30-point outing and is averaging 34.8 points over his last four contests. Davis is averaging just 15.3 points in three games against San Antonio this season with a high of 18.


1. The Spurs are 2-1 against the Pelicans this season with New Orleans recording a 119-103 home win on Jan. 27, when Davis collected 21 rebounds.

2. New Orleans PG Jrue Holiday scored 22 points against Detroit after managing just six in two of the previous three games.

3. San Antonio expects PG Tony Parker (quadriceps) to return after a one-game absence.