The Pelicans led by six early in the fourth quarter but Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes combined for 23 points in the fourth to lift Dallas past New Orleans, 91-81, Sunday night at the American Airlines Center.
With the loss, the Pelicans (6-12) dropped their second-straight game after coming into the contest as winners of four of their last five games.
Sloppy play on defense, giving up easy layups in the paint and losing the battle on the boards led to the Pelicans’ loss in the game.
“They out played us,” said Pelicans’ head coach Alvin Gentry. “They deserved to win the game.”
With nearly 8:00 to play in the game, the Pelicans led by four points but then Matthews hit one of his three critical three pointers in the fourth quarter to start the Mavericks’ offensive surge.
The two teams then exchanged baskets before Dallas went on an 8-2 run to take an 82-75 lead with 3:16 left to play. From there, the Mavericks did not look back as the Pelicans failed to stop the Mavericks offensively and struggled to score on offense.
The Pelicans shot 39 percent off 30-of-77 shooting from the floor, 89 percent off 16-of-18 shooting from the free throw line and outscored the Mavericks in fast break points, 12-2.
Davis, the NBA’s leading scorer averaging 33 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, led the Pelicans in scoring with 36 points, 13 rebounds and a block. Jrue Holiday finished with 17 points as well.
As for Dallas, the Mavericks shot 42 percent off 32-of-77 shooting from the floor, 37 percent off 10-of-27 shooting from behind the arc and 85 percent off 17-of-20 shooting from the free throw line. Dallas outrebounded New Orleans 46-42 and produced more bench points, 28-26.
Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks in scoring with 23 points, followed by Wesley Matthews, who went 6-of-8 from three-point range, finished with 21 points. Justin Anderson scored 14 points while Seth Curry finished with 10 off the bench.
In the third quarter, both teams exchanged field goals back and forth before ending the quarter tied at 60.
New Orleans gave up 22 points in the paint to Dallas, something that hurt the Pelicans in the first half. Despite shooting less than 40 percent off 17-of-43 shooting from the floor, the Pelicans trailed by only two points, 44-42. Davis led the Pelicans in scoring with 19 points.
Dallas shot 43 percent off 17-of-40 shooting from the floor and 31 percent off 4-of-13 from beyond the arc. Barnes led the Mavericks in scoring with 12 points in 19 minutes of play.
After Dwight Powell threw down a dunk to the begin the second quarter, the Pelicans scored eight-straight points to tie the game at 28. The two teams then exchanged baskets over the next few series before the Mavericks managed to take a 41-36 lead. New Orleans responded and ended the quarter on a Davis tip-in at the buzzer.
The Pelicans gave up easy layups and points in the paint, despite being down only 26-20 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams went back and forth in scoring for nearly all of the first quarter. However, with 1:49 left, the Mavericks scored seven straight points to take a 26-17 lead before Hield converted on a three pointer to bring the Pelicans’ deficit to six. Davis scored 13 points in the first quarter.
Mavericks: With the win, Dallas snapped an eight-game losing streak, the longest skid since 1999 when Dirk Nowitzki was a rookie.
Pelicans: Jrue Holiday recorded another another solid performance for the Pelicans, despite the loss
BATTLE ON THE BOARDS:
Pelicans: Dallas won the battle on the boards against New Orleans, allowing the Mavericks to get second-chance opportunities for points and limiting the Pelicans’ chances in the process.
Mavericks: Dallas returns to action at 7:30 PM Wednesday as the Mavericks play the San Antonio Spurs at the American Airlines Center. The Spurs (14-3) currently sit in second place in the Western Conference.
Pelicans: New Orleans returns to action at 7 PM Tuesday as the Pelicans play the Los Angeles Lakers (8-9) at the Smoothie King Center. The Lakers currently sit one game behind the Portland Trailblazers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.