Dallas Mavericks End Road Trip Against Red-Hot Davis and the Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 29: Harrison Barnes
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 29: Harrison Barnes /

The Dallas Mavericks head into the final game of the road trip where they face a playoff bound Pelicans team led by MVP candidate, Anthony Davis.

The Mavericks wrap up a four game road trip Tuesday night against red-hot Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. The teams will tip-off at Smoothie King Arena at 8:00 p.m. ET. This is the fourth and final match-up between the two Southwest division teams this season. The Mavericks lost two of the previous three.

Dallas has lost their last two games on the road, including an affair in Toronto that went to overtime, after winning the opener in New York against the Knicks.

The biggest loss on this mid-March road trip, however, is the Mavericks’ starting point guard. Dennis Smith Jr. stepped on Spencer Dinwiddie’s foot late in the third quarter, spraining his ankle. The Mavericks haven’t given a timetable for his return, other than Dwain Price of Mavs.com reporting that Rick Carlisle stated that Smith would miss “some games.”

Davis has been on a scorched-earth campaign throughout the NBA since DeMarcus Cousins went down with an Achilles injury. The All-Star forward has averaged 27.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game in his last nine games. He’s also been a presence on the defensive end, averaging 3.4 blocks.

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The Pelicans, however, have cooled off since their post All Star break surge. They’ve lost four of their last six games, though they did defeat the Boston Celtics easily on Sunday.

The Mavericks must find a way to contain Davis. He’s averaged 28 points in three games against Dallas this season. The Mavericks don’t really have a player that can match up well with Davis, so it will take concerted team defense to keep him in check.

Dallas will also have to contend with Jrue Holiday, who scored 30 last time these two teams faced each other. The 6’4″ guard is bigger than J.J. Barea and Yogi Farrell, so expect to see Kyle Collinsworth spend some time guarding him. Barea was able to score 14 points to go along with nine assists in a 128-120 win over the Pelicans in December, so he seems comfortable against New Orleans on the offensive end of the floor.

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