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Mavs come up short in New Orleans, lose 121-118

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The Mavs had a chance to send it into overtime, but couldn’t capitalize.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

DEFENSE NOT ON MENU

The Mavs had climbed into the top 10 in defensive efficiency lately, so obviously it was going to be a shootout. The Dallas Mavericks started off a little slow, missing their first nine shot attempts and scoring just 6 points through 7 and a half minutes of play, but when the final buzzer sounded they’d put up a 118 spot on the scoreboard. It was a team effort for the Mavs, who had five guys in double figures — led by Dirk’s 23 — but that effort wasn’t enough, as the Dynamic Duo of Cousins and Davis combined for 59 points and 29 rebounds, coming up with big baskets when needed. Also Jordan Crawford, NBA player is apparently a thing again.

THREE BALL KEEPS DALLAS IN IT

The Mavs connected on 14 of 27 threes, and seemed to continually use the longball to hack away at Pelican leads. Yogi Ferrell had the hot hand for a bit, Dirk hit back-to-back threes during one stretch, and even Dorian Finney Smith got in the act. Unfortunately, the last three of the night came as time expired, with Wes’ potentially game-tying heave clanking off the rim.

DIRK COMES ALIVE IN FOURTH

The Big German had a bit of a pedestrian line through three quarters, with some freebies propping up his point total, but he caught fire in the final frame, scoring 12 of his 23 then, including an 8 point barrage to vault Dallas into the lead after being down most of the game. Curiously, Dirk didn’t attempt a shot in the final two and a half minutes, but when the opposing team scores 121 in regulation, it’s hard to fault the offensive side of things. Oh well.

With this Dallas loss and New Orleans win, the Pelicans have moved ahead of Dallas by a half game in the standings. Or, in other words, Dallas will now be projected to receive the 9th pick in the draft, rather than the 10th. Silver linings!