Mavs hand Pelicans fifth straight loss
It is early but the trend is simply not a good one.
In the tipoff to the longest homestand of the season at six games, we were tipped off quickly that things would not go well for the home team.
The New Orleans Pelicans have now lost five straight games following a 136-124 loss Sunday night to Dallas at Smoothie King Center.
The final score was in no way indicative of how dominant Dallas was.
New Orleans outscored the Mavericks decisively down the stretch in garbage time, making the final score more respectable. The Pelicans outscored Dallas 39-27 in the fourth quarter. Dallas had a 29-point lead with just over seven minutes left.
Naji Marshall returned from injury to play in his first game, coming off the bench.
Marshall hit his first 3-point attempt with just over three minutes to play in the first quarter to give New Orleans its first lead at 21-20.
New Orleans had a 27-26 lead late in the first quarter but closed the quarter in very poor fashion as Dallas ended it with an 8-0 run to take a 34-27 lead.
The Mavericks shot 52 percent from the field in the quarter.
The bad trend continued in the second quarter.
It was a poor half for the Pelicans, who were loose with the ball, committing 11 turnovers resulting in 12 points, got crushed 14-2 in fast break points and were whipped 30-20 with points in the paint.
Williamson had 14 points and Brandon Ingram scored 11 points.
The bright spot was Dyson Daniels, who had 12 points and six rebounds.
Jonas Valanciunas did his best to keep New Orleans in it, scoring eight straight points in the third quarter but Dallas answered with an 8-0 run to quell any thought of a comeback.
The Mavericks buried New Orleans in the third quarter, making 8-of-12 shots from 3-point range, including six in a row at one point, pulling away to a 109-85 lead.
Dallas called it off in the fourth quarter, going to reserves much of the way. Luka Doncic did not even see the floor in the quarter.
In the battle of the dynamic duos, one was dynamic, the other far less.
Kyrie Irving scored 35 points in just 27 minutes and added seven assists and six rebounds while Doncic scored 30 points with nine assists and four rebounds in just 28 minutes.
Ingram scored 20 points with five rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes while Williamson scored with four assists and just two rebounds in 27 minutes.
As was the case with the game, as a whole, it was no contest.
The bright spot for New Orleans was Dyson Daniels, who scored a career high 17 points with nine rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes.
Valanciunas had 15 points and 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes. Matt Ryan made five 3-pointers, scoring 14 points, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers and six rebounds.
New Orleans finished with 18 turnovers which resulted in 22 points for the Mavericks and Dallas blitzed New Orleans 30-13 in fast break points. The Pelicans did have a season-high 31 assists on 47 made shots.
The Mavericks played with more energy and the Pelicans simply did not defend well enough to have a chance.
The same two teams meet at Smoothie King Center again Tuesday night in the first in-season tournament game, for whatever that is worth, outside of a crazy colored court and bragging rights. The Pelicans will have to raise their level of play in tremendous fashion to be competitive with Dallas, based on what was on display tonight.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…