Pelicans beat Spurs for West's last playoff spot
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans are headed to the playoffs.
They made it by beating the NBA's hottest team.
Davis had 31 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks and the Pelicans snapped the San Antonio Spurs' 11-game winning streak with a 108-103 victory on Wednesday.
The Pelicans (45-37) clinched the Western Conference's final playoff spot on the last day of the regular season and will open on the road against the NBA- best Golden State Warriors.
It will be the franchise's first postseason appearance since 2011.
"This has been a grind," said Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson. "It's amazing that the whole 82-game season came down to this one game."
The defending-champion Spurs (55-27) -- unbeaten since losing to Dallas on March 24 -- would have clinched the West's No. 2 seed with a win.
Instead, the worst-case scenario happened: They fell to sixth because Houston and Memphis both won and will have to begin their title defense on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"This will be another journey and hopefully it'll be a fun one," said Spurs forward Tim Duncan.
The Rockets clinched the Southwest Division, which will send all five of its teams to the playoffs, including the Spurs and Pelicans.
It's the first time every team from one division will compete in the same playoffs since 2005-06, when the Pistons, Cavaliers, Pacers, Bulls and Bucks all made it from the Central.
The Pelicans needed a win since Oklahoma City, also chasing the final spot, routed lousy Minnesota on Wednesday.
The Spurs, 21-3 in their previous 24 games, trailed by as many as 23 points in the first half but shot almost 65 percent in the third quarter to trim their deficit to 11 entering the fourth.
It got as close as three down the stretch, even after Davis came up with key blocks on Kawhi Leonard and Boris Diaw. But after Patty Mills' 3-pointer made it 104-101 with 11.2 seconds left, Jrue Holiday and Davis both made two free throws to seal the win.
Tyreke Evans had 19 points and 11 assists for the Pelicans, Eric Gordon scored 14 and Norris Cole had 13, all in the second quarter.
Tony Parker led the Spurs with 23 points. Diaw added 20 off the bench and Duncan and Leonard combined to score 29 in the front court.
Davis had 10 points in the first quarter the Pelicans shot nearly 69 percent in a hot start.
Davis and Evans scored the first nine points of a 21-1 run that extended into the second quarter and gave them a 22-point lead. It reached as high as 23 and was 63-47 at halftime behind 16 points from Davis.
The Spurs had 33 assists on 45 baskets ... The Spurs out-shot the Pelicans 57 percent to 51.8 percent ... New Orleans lost to the Lakers in the first round of the 2011 playoffs.