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3 things we learned as the Pelicans bury the Mavs, 115-105

The Brow proved to be too much as the Pelicans hold off the Mavs in the fourth.

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

The Mavericks and Pelicans tipped off in the Smoothie King center and nearly lit the place on fire. Though the Mavs were down Dennis Smith Jr. and his explosion, J.J. Barea was able to fill in and run the offense like only Barea does. Dallas finished the quarter shooting a blistering 58 percent from the field, led by Harrison Barnes’ eight points and Nerlens Noel’s six. Unfortunately, the Mavs couldn’t stop the Pelicans as they shot 57 percent from the field. Dallas took a slim lead after one, 30-29.

The Mavs kept cooking in the second quarter and rattled off a 10-0 run, scoring on nine of their first 10 possesions, to open the second frame. Kyle Collinsworth was slicing and dicing, reaching his career high of eight points midway through the second. The Pelicans answered with a 10-0 run of their own, highlighted by an Anthony Davis monster alley-oop, to claw themselves back from a double digit deficit. Both teams hit a bit of a rut toward the end of the quarter. The Mavericks missed the final 11 shots of the half, but the Pelicans suffered the biggest blow when Davis went to the locker room with a lower extremity injury. New Orleans was still able to take a 54-52 lead into the half thanks to Davis’ 19 points.

The Pelicans let out a big sigh of relief when Davis trotted on the court for the start of the third, but the Mavs didn’t seem fazed. The third quarter was a back and forth affair as both teams traded baskets and runs. Barnes paced Dallas through three frames with 17 points and Davis “chipped” in 29 for the Pelicans as the score was tied at 80 headed to the fourth.

The Pelicans came out firing in the fourth scoring 15 points about halfway through the quarter. Davis and Ian Clark came up roses multiple times scoring from all areas of the floor. At one point the Pelicans had made nine of their 11 field goal attempts finishing the game in a similar way they started. The Mavs kept pace scoring seven field goals in a row at one point, trimming the lead to as few as three but struggled to contain Davis on the other end. Eventually, the Pelicans were able to pull away and bury the Mavs by scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter. Barnes and Nowitzki led Dallas with 19 a piece, and Davis exploded for 37. New Orleans stayed in thick of the playoff race winning 115-105

That Anthony Davis guy is pretty good

Underselling superstars as satire is pretty cliche, but I really can’t think of a good way to describe Davis. He finished the night with 37 points and eight rebounds in 35 minutes of play on a bum leg, and was every bit as dominant as his stat line depicts. He spaced the floor, posted up, and did just about everything else the Pelicans needed. Davis deserves some serious recognition for keeping the Pelicans in the hunt after DeMarcus Cousins went down, he’s just so, so good.

Vintage Dirk

Dirk is immune to the New Orleans nightlife ... because he was likely in his hotel room early getting a good night’s rest for tonight’s game. It was vintage Dirk tonight as he pumped in 19 points on 7-13 shooting from the field and 4-8 from deep. He hit a couple of big threes in the second half when it looked like New Orleans might make a few runs and continued to provide his timely shooting as the teams traded blows. Although, he sat in crunch time, Dirk still co-led the Mavs in scoring with 19. Cherish these games, folks. Time is running out.

Rajon Rondo *gulp* played well

It pains me to type this, but Rondo came up huge this game with Jrue Holiday being a late scratch. In 30 minutes, Rondo scored 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished 14 assists. Carlisle even intentionally fouled Rondo in an effort to get a poor free throw shooter to the line, but the former Maverick drained both of them. Then, when Carlisle had the Mavs trap out of a timeout in the final minute, Davis found an open Rondo who buried the three in front of the Mavs bench. Rondo apparently loves playing against Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks as he finished with a similar stat line last time out with 14 points, nine assists and 10 rebounds.