In the first half, the Mavs sprayed their offense all over New Orleans with 66 points on 55 percent shooting. Watching the Mavs offense in the first half was a lot like seeing the Empire State Building for the first time. The sheer mass of their passing, dribble penetration, and shooting is overwhelming. When the offense is firing on all cylinders, it's one of the most beautiful spectacles in basketball.
Chandler Parsons spearheaded the offensive attack with 17 first half points. Parsons got into the lane with relative ease and knocked down some shots that were rimming out in the first two games.
Monta had one of his better halves as a Dallas Maverick. It wasn't necessarily his scoring, but the defensive plays and offense he facilitated. On one possession specifically, Monta perfectly mirrored Eric Gordon on-ball and forced him into a tough shot. It's rare to see this kind of focus and footwork from Monta on the defensive end. On offense Monta was constantly getting into the paint off of pick and rolls, which comprised the Pelicans' defense. Monta even grabbed three tough offensive rebounds.
Everything in Mavsland was all good until Tyreke Evans lit on fire in the third quarter. Tyreke is a below average shooter, but he heated up in the third scoring 16 points on a combination of jumpers and layups. The Mavs went into the third up 14 and exited down 3.
Disclaimer: Anthony Davis has arrived and he is terrifying. Davis had 31 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. He was everywhere and he will be in the Southwest Division for at least the next 5 years.
Perimeter defense differentiated the two teams in the third. The Pellies cranked up their defense and didn't allow Mavs' ball handlers to infiltrate the defense like they had in the third. Conversely, the Mavs got sloppy on the defensive end alloying the Pelicans' guards a free path to the rim.
The Mavs stabilized in the fourth quarter with JJ Barea and Brandan Wright on the court. Barea hasn't lost a beat from 2011 by getting to the lane and finishing or creating for others. Wright was his usual efficient self and he had several tough finishes over Anthony Davis and Omer Asik. Wright grabbed five huge rebounds considering he was facing the best rebounding frontcourt in the league.
The Mavs ability to execute down the stretch separated them from the Pelicans. The Pellies are still a young team and they haven't quite mastered late-game execution. Although he didn't have his most efficient night, Dirk buried the Pellies by hitting a jumper with under a minute to go to put the Mavs up by six.
Overall, this was a solid win for the Mavs. Yes, they blew a lead in the most Mavs way possible, but they showed they could get crucial stops down the stretch to secure a win against a very talented Pelicans squad.
Next up the Mavs host the Celtics on Monday at 7:30 CST.