The Dallas Mavericks traveled to New Orleans Friday night and defeated the Pelicans 107-90. The two teams play again tomorrow night in Dallas in the rare "home-and-home back-to-back". Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 24 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Second year forward Anthony Davis was a monster for the Pelicans with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. The Mavericks put away New Orleans on the strength of 14 three pointers, shaking off a huge loss against the Spurs.
The Mavericks got off to a fast start in the first quarter, jumping on the new-look (see: injured) Pelicans with an 11-4 burst in the first three minutes. Jose Calderon hit the first shot of the game on a designed play, Dirk Nowitzki hit a trailing three that looked to surprise Anthony Davis, and Monta Ellis scored on a great drive to the basket. The Pelicans rallied quickly, with Eric Gordon and Davis pushing back by getting into the lane. Vince Carter and DeJuan Blair helped give Dallas a 22-12 lead on the strength of two plays by Carter: a "look what I found" three pointer and a post up of Tyreke Evans.
Despite a number of silly New Orleans turnovers, Eric Gordon kept the Pelicans in it early, bulling his way to the basket. Maverick second round rookie Ricky Ledo caused the most excitement of the quarter for Mavs fans, entering the game and scoring on a transition lay up and ending the quarter with a great assist to Blair. Dallas led 31-24 after a period on the strength of solid shooting and taking advantage of seven Pelican turnovers.
The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with Dallas building up a 10-point lead, letting it slip away, then going ahead 13 at the half. Dirk continued his hot shooting, hitting a post up and a trailer three. Once he left the game for his regular rest, Eric Gordon bulldozed his way to the rim, keeping the Pelicans alive. Gordon had 19 points by the six minute mark of the quarter before he finally cooled off.
After a small Pelican rally, the Mavericks went on a 10-0 spurt to firmly retake the lead. A Carter three off of an Ellis drive and Calderon swing pass, followed by two Monta fast break drives and a Calderon three, capped the run. After New Orleans finally ended the run, Monta scored again on a lay in and followed that up with a three off of a Dirk pass out of a post up. Dallas took a 62-49 lead into halftime.
The third quarter got off to a bit of an ugly start. Dirk hit one jumper, but the Mavs could not capitalize off of three turnovers from the Pelicans in the first three minutes of the game. Anthony Davis finally scored the first Pelican basket of the quarter with a dunk on a broken play. Dirk responded with another three, which seemed to wake Dallas up. On the next possession, Dirk was doubled in the short corner and found Dalembert for a hook shot. Monta then found Dirk on a skip pass to the far corner, where Dirk whipped it to a wide open Calderon for three to give Dallas a commanding 23-point lead.
Eric Gordon finally got the chance to punish Dallas again, scoring six quick points around the four minute mark. The poor luck for New Orleans would continue as the half ended. Shane Larkin hit a rainbow three on an end-of-shot clock look. Anthony Davis stripped Larkin in the backcourt for a breakaway dunk on the next possession, but Larkin answered back to close the quarter finding a wide open Jae Crowder in the corner for another three. Dallas took a 84-65 lead into the final frame.
Kansas rookie Jeff Withey opened the fourth with an open lay up, but Dirk responded with his fourth made three of the game. Austin Rivers scored twice to bring New Orleans within 16, but once again Dirk answered. The Mavericks managed to get the Pelicans into foul trouble by the eight minute mark of the quarter. From there it was mainly a matter of holding on. The Pelicans managed to score, but Dallas would nearly always answer. Bernard James got a bit of burn in the final minutes, but the lack of Ricky Ledo until the final two minutes was disappointing.
-These two teams play tomorrow night. I expect a testy game. Beating the same team on back to back nights is HARD. So if Dallas does it, despite the Pelican injuries, that's impressive.
-Jae Crowder hit more than 50% of his shots. The box score has to be wrong.
-Shane Larkin had a career-high 6 assists. I enjoyed seeing him play.
-Disappointed that Rick Carlisle didn't give Ricky Ledo more burn. Still, impressed in his limited minutes.
-Dirk's good at three pointers. Still kind of crazy he won a MVP the year Avery Johnson wouldn't let him shoot it.
-Anthony Davis is a monster. Hilarious watching he and Wright go up against one another in the Battle of the Limbs.
-Austin Rivers wasn't terrible. Who knew?
-Need more hustle from DeJuan Blair. He played okay, I just expect more energy from him.
|8:43 remaining in the 4th||1||2||3||4||Total|
|New Orleans Pelicans||24||25||16||10||75|