The Mavericks have now won 10 of their last 12 with a 108-89 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. Monta Ellis lead the Mavericks with 23 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals. Alexis Ajinca was the biggest contributor for the Pelicans with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The first quarter started with a scare. After throwing a great pass to Dalembert for a lay in, a Pelican player collided with Dirk's left shoulder. Coming back on defense, he grabbed it immediately and needed to come out of the game to head to the locker room. After a few minutes he returned to action, but for about 5 minutes Mavs Nation held it's breath. After Dirk's return the team looked disjointed for most of the quarter. After a couple of threes from Dirk and Jose Calderon forced a New Orleans time out, the Pelicans buckled down and went to work on Dallas. The 6'7 and Under Line Up (TM) struggled against the long Pelican front line and by the end of the period, the Pelicans had taken a 27-0 lead. The Mavericks struggled from the field, didn't get offensive rebounds, and didn't attempt a free throw.
The second felt much more Maverickian. A Vince Carter corner three settled the Mavericks a bit before Dirk and Luke Babbit got into a brief shooting contest. Babbit sank two deep threes, while Dirk scored over Babbit in the short corner, then took him to the rim, scoring with his left hand. The Mavericks finally broke the score open with a great Ellis drive past Anthony Davis. After Davis was forced to leave the game with a shoulder injury, Vince Carter went to work, scoring six straight on a pull up from the elbow, free throws, and a lay up. During this stretch, Monta Ellis stripped Eric Gordon twice in a row, playing great defense after getting beat a few times earlier in the game. Ellis continued to press on offense, getting four free throws in the final few minutes. After no free throws in the first period, Dallas had 8 in the second quarter. The Mavs would take a 49-43 lead into the half.
With news coming after half time that Davis would not return, the Mavericks took control of the game. Dirk got things started with a patented fade over Aminu. Jose Calderon and Brian Roberts would exchange threes while New Orleans attempted to hang around. At one point, the Pelicans attempted a match up zone, which lead to Shawn Marion scoring in the post over a much smaller New Orleans defender. Monta Ellis really went to work this quarrter, taking it into traffic and scoring repeatedly. After a couple of Alexis Ajinca dunks brought New Orleans within five, Marion stole the ball and went coast to coast for the first time in memory. Jeff Withey fouled Dirk on a three point attempt and the Mavericks took a 78-67 lead into the final frame.
The fourth quarter started in bizarre fashion, with repeated New Orleans turnovers preventing the Pelicans from making any sort of dent in the Maverick lead. Vince Carter continued to work, scoring in a couple of great buckets right near the rim. As the Pelican turnover woes continued one of them even resulted in the best/worst Dirk dunk I've ever seen. The Pelicans could not stop the bleeding until it was too late, as Monta Ellis, Brandan Wright, and Devin Harris continued to push for Dallas. After getting up by 93-71, the Mavericks gave up a quick 8-0 run as the Mavs eased off the gas. Ellis getting free throws and another New Orleans turnover ended much hope of a late rally. Carlisle cleared his bench with around three minutes remaining. The Mavericks would go on to win,
-Ellington is playing and playing well. I'm glad. He's had the reputation of a great shooter and he's really looking good these last for games. Another three point option is a GREAT thing to have.
-The team his humming right along at a great time. That's 10 wins in the past 12.
-Monta is a freaking warrior. Some of the hits he takes for a man his size.... he should miss more games, but doesn't. Just delighted with his play this month.
-13 games over .500!!!!