The Dallas Mavericks dominated the New Orleans Pelicans 127-117 on Saturday night as Luka Doncic and Christian Wood showcase just how special they can be as a duo. New Orleans was on the second night of a back-to-back set, and they were without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and Larry Nance Jr., but nothing they did on Jan. 7 was going to be enough. Dallas shot 56.8 percent from the field, and their 127 points were just too many to overcome.
Rookie Jaden Hardy was part of the rotation after exploding for 15 points in 15 minutes on Thursday night. The 20-year-old guard provided a spark against the Pelicans as he scored 15 points on seven of nine shooting from the field with two steals. Hardy is talented and aggressive. It will be fun to watch him develop moving forward.
Doncic and Wood stole the show on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center. Both players went off and led them to their 23rd win of the season. Here is a closer look at their performances and what it means moving forward.
Luka Doncic and Christian Wood prove they are a special duo in Dallas Mavericks win over Pelicans
Wood started his 11th consecutive game, but he faced a tough matchup. The Pelicans were going to feed Jonas Valanciunas on Saturday night because they were shorthanded and needed scoring punch. JV had a significant weight advantage on Wood, but that did not stop the Mavericks' big man from going off.
The chemistry between Doncic and C-Wood continues to grow. They are finding each other more and proving to be a special offensive duo. Dallas ran a ton of pick and rolls between the two men, and it resulted in positive things nearly every time. See one of their connections below.
Luka finished with 34 points, ten rebounds, ten assists, and one block in 39 minutes of action He made ten of his 23 field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers, and Doncic took 15 free throws on Saturday night. It was Luka’s 55th career triple-double and his ninth one this season. The Pelicans' defense was forced to make difficult decisions with number 77 and Wood going off, and it resulted in an impressive offensive performance.
C-Wood had 28 points, six rebounds, and two blocks in 24 minutes of action. He made nine of his 14 field goals, including hitting four 3-pointers and going six of seven from the free-throw line. Wood dealt with some early foul trouble, but his offensive versatility gave Valanciunas fits on Jan. 7.
Head coach Jason Kidd pulled his starters a bit early on Saturday night, and the Pelicans fought until the final whistle to make things close. Credit to New Orleans for doing what they did on the second night of a back-to-back, but Dallas was the better team on Jan. 7.
Coming into Saturday’s game, the Mavericks had a 118.7 offensive rating with Luka Doncic and Christian Wood on the floor, and it only went up after their performance against the New Orleans Pelicans. They are a special offensive duo that just keeps getting better as they log more minutes together.
The Dallas Mavericks face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night on the second night of a back-to-back. Will Luka Doncic play? Can Dallas pick up a win to start their five-game road trip? Tune in to find out.