Pelicans Top Mavericks To Win 3rd Straight, Davis Shines
In front of a soldout New Orleans crowd, the Pelicans defeated the Dallas Mavericks in an exciting shootout, leaning on superstar Anthony Davis to get the job done.
For the first time this season, the Pelicans have won three in a row, needing every second of Sunday night's game to procure the 109-106 victory.
"We needed this win," said Davis. "We need a win streak...We know we need to win seven or eight in a row."
Davis was solid from start to finish, but particularly clutch down the stretch. With the game hanging in the balance, Davis sunk 4 consecutive free throws in the final 12 seconds, turning a one point deficit into a three point lead.
He also stole a Maverick inbound pass intended for Dirk Nowitzki with nine seconds left.
"It's hard to lob it over one of the longest guys in the NBA," said Nowitzki.
Davis finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 1 block. The only player in franchise history to accumulate a similar stat line is former point guard Chris Paul, who did it in 2009, also versus the Mavericks.
As the buzzer sounded, Davis let out a scream of satisfaction before running over to embrace Pelicans fans sitting courtside.
Point guard Tyreke Evans paced the Pels with 24 points and 12 assists, while Ryan Anderson scored 18, all in the first half.
New Orleans needed every point they could get, as Mavericks guard Monta Ellis was scoring from every part of the floor.
Defensively, the Pelicans couldn't slow down Ellis, who finished with a game-high 36. Dirk Nowitzki added 24 for the Mavs.
The Pelicans crowd was boisterous throughout, something that didn't go unnoticed by the home team.
"Amazing, amazing, amazing," said New Orleans forward Quincy Pondexter of the crowd. "It brought back a lot of memories from my rookie year here."
Before Sunday night's win, the Pelicans had dropped 9 straight to the Mavericks.
New Orleans (23-21) improves to 14-5 at home. Their next 5 contests take place in the friendly confines of the Smoothie King Center, including tomorrow night's matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers (8-36). Tip-off is set for 7:00.