By RAUL DOMINGUEZ , Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 14 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs withstood another bat intrusion — with a nifty play from the team’s coyote mascot — and held off the depleted New Orleans Pelicans 113-108 on Saturday night.
The Spurs led for all but the opening basket in successfully sweeping a four-game homestand, but it didn’t come with some drama.
The bat began hovering above the court three minutes into the game, causing officials to delay play. It was the second straight home game delayed by the winged intruders, with three bats buzzing the court Thursday night against Phoenix. Arena workers were able to shoo the bats into the rafters against the Suns, but the Spurs were better prepared against the Pelicans.
An arena official walked onto the court with a net, but missed the bat on his first attempt. Almost on cue, the mascot charged onto the court dressed in a Batman costume with a net. He missed his first swipe at the bat, then dove near the scorer’s table and caught the bat in his net to huge cheers from Spurs players and fans. The worker placed the bat into a towel and took him from the court, with play resuming after a delay of only 1 1/2 minutes.
Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli added 17 points each for San Antonio.
Anthony Davis was among five injured players out for New Orleans. Davis, who is listed out with a sprained left index finger, has not played since informing the Pelicans he wants to be traded from the franchise that drafted him first overall out of Kentucky in 2012.
Frank Jackson had a career-high 25 points to lead New Orleans.
The Spurs emptied their bench while holding a 106-84 lead but were forced to put their starters back in after the Pelicans went on a 24-5 run. Jackson’s layup pulled New Orleans ton 111-108 with 8 seconds remaining. After San Antonio guard DeMar DeRozan missed a floater, New Orleans’ Tim Frazier upfaked and spun around Rudy Gay, but his 3-pointer circled the rim and fell off with 4.4 seconds left. DeRozan closed the game out with a pair of free throws.
DeRozan finished with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Pelicans: Davis missed his seventh straight game. New Orleans is 2-4 in those game. … The Pelicans also were without Nikola Mirotic, E’Twaun Moore, Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle.
Spurs: Aldridge has 18,013 points, becoming the only player in the league with 18,000 points and 7,500 rebounds since 2006, the year he was drafted. … Pau Gasol has 20,882 points, moving past Bob Pettit for 37th in NBA history. … Dante Cunningham missed the game with a sore right ankle.
Pelicans: Host Indiana on Monday night.
Spurs: At Sacramento on Monday night.