Hard to say which was a bigger eyesore: the Pelican’s court, or the Maverick’s performance.
Playing the same team twice in a row is a tough ask, but Dallas never looked competitive in this one. They split the series with the Pelicans, but, for what it’s worth, they lost the one that contributed to the In-Season Tournament results. Dallas falls to 1-2 in the Tournament.
25: New Orleans' points off turnovers in three quarters
The Pelicans are not a good offensive team. Coming into tonight, they ranked 19th in the league. When playing a bad offensive team, there’s no bigger gift than gifting them easy points. In one of Dallas’ uglier games this season, they coughed up the ball 15 times through just three quarters (the fourth was largely run by Dallas’ deep bench after the game was out of reach.) Luka Doncic was certainly not his sharpest – eight of those 15 turnovers came from Doncic alone.
New Orleans turned that in 25 points, which contributed greatly to their 114-85 lead at the end of the frame.
10: Dallas’ 114-point streak ends at 10 games
In every game so far this season, win or loss, Dallas has scored at least 114 points. It was a torrid offensive output that was second only to the Rick Carlisle-coached Pacers. It was a sign that, even in a loss, Dallas offense would take care of itself. The struggle, as many could have predicted, would come on the defensive end.
That streak ends with Dallas managing 42.2% from the floor and 33.3% from deep – well below the 48.6% and 40% numbers they’ve been putting up this year.
6-0: Pelicans’ 30-second run to end the half
With 3:08 left to go in the half, Dallas trailed by 19, 61-to-42. Things were looking bleak. Dallas had had no positive momentum since they gave up the lead early in the first quarter. Then, all of a sudden, they put together a run.
With 46 seconds to go, Dante Exum laid in a basket that brought the score to 64-54, just a 10-point gap and enough time to get another possession. With a defensive stop, Dallas could have feasibly been down just single digits after falling behind by 19, and all in the span of three minutes.
Instead, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl hit a three, Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a three, and then Exum committed a bad three-point foul with under a second to go. Jordan Hawkins hit all three free throws and then what could have been a huge momentum boost and an easily surmountable deficit ballooned back to 16. Dallas didn’t show much fight the rest of the way, with the starters coming out early to spell them before tomorrow’s game at Washington.