The Dallas Mavericks came into tonight expecting to get a tough win against a talented but overmatched New Orleans Pelicans team, but instead were rewarded with 12 minutes to rest the starters as Dallas won by 21.
Despite one of the worst starts to a game this season, the Dallas Mavericks were able to figure things out quickly and stayed in the game with a struggling New Orleans Pelicans team long enough to take over. The Mavs overcame a rough shooting game and foul trouble to Kristaps Porzingis to get a big, 21-point win against a Western Conference opponent.
The game did start extremely ugly with Dallas turning the ball over five times in the first four minutes of game time. Luka Doncic had three of those five turnovers and the Pels length looked like it was going to cause a lot of issues. Instead, the Mavs only turned the ball over seven more times the rest of the game, one of which was dribbling out the clock at the end of the game.
The Mavs did not shoot the ball well overall, but Luka had himself another great game, surprise. Aside from setting a new career high with 18 rebounds, he also scored 33 points in 28 minutes on 50% from the field. He also had 5 assists and 4 turnovers, but a lot of that can be attributed to the Mavs poor shooting while he was on the floor.
Although KP got in early foul trouble and played only 18 minutes, he was effective on the defensive end, pulling down 6 boards and blocking 5 shots. His defense was a big reason the Mavs were able to stay close in the early minutes of the game. He and Tim Hardaway Jr. both struggled from the field early, although THJ found it in the second half.
Luka obviously led all scorers and rebounders, but the second top scorer for Dallas was a surprising Seth Curry, who scored 19 on 6-11 shooting and 5-7 from three. Most of those were scored in the 4th quarter which helped Dallas keep the starters on the bench and rest for the second night of a back-to-back.
Hardaway and Maxi Kleber were the only other Mavs players in double-digits with 12 each. J.J. Barea was brought in by Carlisle once again to spark the offense in the second quarter and he delivered once again. He finished the game with 8 points in 11 minutes.
The Mavs entered the third quarter with a 9-point advantage, which didn’t seem like enough to justify keeping Luka out. That probably would have been the case if the Mavs didn’t blow it up in the fourth quarter and expand the lead to as many as 23. The game was over well before Luka’s normal time to come back in for the final minutes.
Dallas will look to extend their win streak to four games tomorrow night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The game will be back in Dallas and will begin at 7:30pm central time. This game will kickoff a five-game home stand for the Mavs, although one of the “home” games will actually be played in Mexico with the Mavs acting as the home team.