Mavericks Defeat Pelicans 109-104
The New Orleans Pelicans fell to the Dallas Mavericks for the 8th consecutive time, falling at home Saturday night 109-104.
Dallas jumped out to a 17 point first half lead, breaking down the New Orleans defense and owning the glass.
"A lot of our coverages in the first half weren't executed properly," said head coach Monty Williams. "You can't have that against a team like Dallas. They're not going to beat themselves."
While the first half was won by the Mavs, the third quarter belonged to the Pelicans, and in particular, Tyreke Evans (pictured above). Evans scored 16 in the third, attacking the paint with an infections energy that helped New Orleans outscore Dallas in the quarter 37-20. His dribble-drive pentration, coupled with an improved outside shot, nearly earned him a triple-double (22 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists).
Heading into the 4th, the Pels had erased the 17 point deficit, leading by 3.
"I was encouraged by how we defended and competed in the second half," said Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.
However, the veteran Mavericks showed their composure in the 4th quarter, leaning on future hall of famer Dirk Nowitzki. His fall-away jumper with less than a minute left helped Dallas put the game out of reach.
Dirk's 17 point, 6 rebound performance wasn't indicative of his impact, but his +/- stat was. His +14 was best for any player in the game. Nowitzki went to the bench early in the third with foul trouble, watching most of the Pelicans dominant 3rd quarter from the bench.
Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis' superb play continued, registering a usual impressive stat line (31 points, 15 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals).
"The second half we played great defensively," said Davis. "We turned it over too much...7 turnovers in the 4th quarter are too much...but we lost this game in the first half...we didn't have a lot of energy."
New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday was effective, attacking the rim on offense, while also knocking down a number of long-range shots, going 10/19 from the field, finishing with 24 points.
While the trio of Davis, Holiday, and Evans played well, Pelicans guard Eric Gordon struggled mightily. Defensively, he was consistently beat off the dribble by Mavericks guard Monta Ellis. Offensively, Gordon was 0-6 from the field, going scoreless with 4 turnovers. Shortly after the game, he tweeted about his disappointment.
Bench play was another big edge for the Mavs, as they outscored the Pels bench 36-14, with 11 of the Pelicans 14 points coming from Ryan Anderson.
New Orleans will look to bounce back in Tennessee. The first road game of the season awaits the Pelicans Monday in Memphis. Tip-off versus the Grizzlies is set for 7:00.