It was mostly the "B" team for the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in New Orleans. With Deron Williams, Wes Matthews, Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia all sitting this one out, Dallas
RESURGENT PARSONS EARLY, STEELY RAY-RAY LATE
Chandler Parsons was the lone starter in the lineup, and he met that challenge with aplomb. He matched a season high with 21 points -- 19 of which came in the first half -- and also registered 8 rebounds and 6 assists for a terrific all-around game. He went 0-5 from deep, but with the longball not going down, Parsons found success attacking the basket, which obviously is an extremely encouraging sign going forward. While he was the one that carried the club offensively early on, it was Raymond Felton who hit most of the big shots late. Felton ended the night with 22 points(17 in the second half), including a pair of huge threes in the last five minutes and four free throws to ice the game in the final seconds. Felton, who played 35 minutes in Tuesday's double-OT thriller, logged 37 minutes in this one, and didn't commit a single turnover.
BACKUP BIGS GET THEIR MOMENT IN THE SUN
With both Dirk and Zaza out, Rick Carlisle gave several lesser-used players extended minutes. Javale McGee got the start and built on his stellar play against the Kings with another strong performance. 8 points, 6 boards(4 offensive) and 4 blocks in 19 minutes of play. He may have died if he had to go 20. Also seeing some burn was Dwight Powell, who had been quiet of late but recorded a double-double with 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Even Jeremy Evans got 25 minutes of run, posting a solid 8-5 and using his length and activity to great effect on defense. The one letdown was Charlie V, who started in place of Dirk and went 1-10, bricking several wide open threes.
DEFENSIVE EFFORT WINS THE DAY
Dallas struggled shooting the ball most of the night(before catching fire at the right time late in the game), but managed to stay in it thanks to a fantastic defensive gameplan. Anthony Davis got his 26 points, but needed 25 shots to do it, and they were able to contain him early by putting Parsons on AD and keeping Charlie V out on the perimeter. In support of Parsons was Javale McGee, whose weakside shotblocking was a dimension Dallas simply hasn't had previously. And without a serious interior presence to pair with Davis, the Mavs were able to use Jeremy Evans in smallball looks, as well. The Pelicans had almost no success getting to the hoop, and ended up forcing a lot of bad perimeter shots, resulting in a putrid 37% shooting overall and a 7-30 from deep.
As mentioned in the broadcast, the Dallas Mavericks have the most back-to-backs of any team from now until the All-Star Break. So it was nice to put this one in the win column despite so many starters resting. For the second game in their three game road trip, the Mavs travel to Milwaukee next to take on the Bucks.