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Game 59: Mavs vs. Pelicans presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Pelicans vs. Mavericks

Monta Ellis records 23 points and seven assists, Dirk Nowitzki adds 18 points as the Mavericks defeated the Pelicans Wednesday night.

DALLAS – Entering the night full of confidence following an unbeaten three-game road trip, the Dallas Mavericks still knew they couldn’t afford to have a hiccup Wednesday night.

Facing a New Orleans Pelicans team they’d already defeated three times this season, the Mavericks looked to continue surging in the Western Conference standings. The Mavs also tried to build off nine wins in their previous 11 outings, bidding for a season series sweep of the Pelicans in the process.

And by night’s end it would be mission accomplished for the Mavericks (36-23) after claiming a 108-89 blowout victory to complete the sweep, facing little resistance while moving a season-high 13 games over .500.

“I think we are coming along at the right time,” starting shooting guard Monta Ellis said after the Mavs notched their fourth win in a row and 10th in a 12-game stretch. “I think everybody is tuned in and accepting their role of what they need to do to help us win. The biggest thing is that everyone is playing together.”

Hoping to get off to a quick start, the Mavericks would receive an early scare as 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki headed to the locker room at the 11:29 mark of the first quarter due to an apparent left shoulder injury.

“I think the shoulder popped a little bit. I’ve had it ever since Karl Malone hacked me in ’99,” Nowitzki later joked. “The shoulder just sometimes comes in and out a little bit, but all it does is tingle a little for a couple of minutes. I walked it off in the tunnel and was able to finish the game. It’s happened a good 20 times already over my career and it’s going to keep happening again here and there, but I’ve just got to keep strengthening it on off days and work through it.”

Nowitzki would shake the injury off, however, returning with 8:44 left in the period and quickly connecting on a 3-pointer to get his team off on the right track. Still, with former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis asserting himself inside, the visiting Pelicans (23-34) ended the first 12 minutes of play with a 27-20 lead.

“The first quarter was kind of weird,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle confessed. “Dirk came out and things were going slow and weird, but [the Pelicans] are a tough team to play. They always stick around in games, even though they are really decimated with guys being out. They are really well-coached. You’ve got to play solid and you’ve got to play the right way. What got us into trouble was untimely casual plays that led to turnovers and letting guys get open 3s. … It is the stuff that has been our nemesis all year, and we just have to keep working to correct it.”

Coming off his season-high 23 points in Monday’s 110-108 win in New York, sixth man Vince Carter tried to provide the Mavs with a spark early in the second quarter. The Dallas defense also stiffened as the Mavs looked to rally in the period.

Ellis then took over the offensive responsibilities, scoring in the lane before feeding forward Shawn Marion for a slam to go ahead 37-36, forcing a New Orleans timeout with 4:13 remaining in the half. And with Carter’s 11 first-half points leading the way, the Mavericks entering the intermission with a 49-43 edge.

Behind Carter’s 4-of-6 shooting, the Mavs’ 47.5 percent from the field as a team through two quarters bettered the Pelicans’ 44.7 percent. Meanwhile, the Pelicans held a 21-19 edge in the rebounding department at the midway mark, but the Mavs committed just four turnovers to New Orleans’ seven giveaways in the first half.

After the Pelicans announced that Davis would be out in the second half due to a left shoulder sprain, the Mavericks went back on the attack in the third quarter. Nowitzki then proceeded to separate the squads on the scoreboard, getting assistance from Ellis and point guard Jose Calderon as the Mavs surged ahead by double digits before taking a 78-67 margin entering the fourth.

With Carter also attacking, the Mavericks began to open the game up in the final quarter. Nowitzki’s two-handed slam with 9:34 remaining then gave the Mavs their largest lead to that point, putting the home team up 84-69.

The Dallas defense and Ellis closed the Pelicans out from there, pulling ahead by as many as 23 en route to the win.

Pacing the way to the win with 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting, Ellis led five Mavericks in double figures while dishing out seven assists.

“Monta has been doing a great job of picking his spots — attacking when it’s there . … He’s been great for us all season, making plays off the dribble and getting in the lane,” Nowitzki said while praising his teammate.

Nowitzki pitched in 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and Carter added 17 points off the bench. Meanwhile, reserve swingman Wayne Ellington scored 12 points and Marion recorded 10 points and eight rebounds.

Eric Gordon led the Pelicans with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, but the Mavericks’ 51.9 percent as a team bettered New Orleans’ 50.7 percent. The Mavs also overcame the Pelicans’ 40-34 rebounding edge, scoring 30 points off New Orleans’ 21 turnovers and finishing with just nine giveaways at the other end of the floor.

“It was a great win. We stuck together, got plays when we needed and closed the game at the end,” Ellis concluded. “I think the last 12 games we’ve been playing together as a team. And when we play like that, share the ball and everybody does their job at both ends, we come out with a win.”

“I think we are stringing together multiple stops and sharing the ball a lot more,” Marion added. “If we continue doing that, we will continue to get better. We are not over the hump just yet, but we are showing signs of how good we can possibly be.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action at American Airlines Center Friday night, hosting the Chicago Bulls. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 105-83 road win back on Dec. 28. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

New Orleans Pelicans
Al-Farouq Aminu, F172-40-10-202220022-24
Anthony Davis, F123-90-00-01891020146
Greg Stiemsma, C140-00-00-02020000000
Eric Gordon, G347-113-52-402221050-719
Brian Roberts, G296-93-52-202230020-117
Tyreke Evans272-90-20-106672012-134
Alexis Ajinca256-100-02-244830113-1714
Luke Babbitt254-62-40-012310012-1510
Austin Rivers162-41-11-611220021-96
Anthony Morrow181-60-21-201100020-153
Jeff Withey70-00-00-012301021-60
Darius Miller103-30-00-000010012-146
Ryan Anderson00-00-00-00000000000
Jrue Holiday00-00-00-00000000000
Jason Smith00-00-00-00000000000
36-719-208-1910304022431914 89
Dallas Mavericks
Shawn Marion, F315-90-00-017833000510
Dirk Nowitzki, F277-131-33-3055320121618
Samuel Dalembert, C213-40-00-00110111226
Monta Ellis, G338-181-36-6044740221723
Jose Calderon, G263-73-50-002251002129
Brandan Wright233-40-02-235813300238
Devin Harris221-70-31-20224001153
Vince Carter216-91-34-4022210211017
DeJuan Blair31-20-00-000010011-62
Wayne Ellington214-64-50-0022100121112
Jae Crowder20-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin20-00-00-00001000100
Bernard James20-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Gal Mekel00-00-00-00000000000
41-7910-2216-174303428154914 108

Block of the Night – Samuel Dalembert

Samuel Dalembert comes up with a big block on Anthony Davis at the rim leading to Shawn Marion's layup on the other end.


Postgame: Vince Carter

Mavs G-F Vince Carter dishes on the rhythm he's been in as of late, Wednesday's win against the Pelicans, how important the second half of the season is and more.


Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki comments on the injury he sustained early in the first quarter against the Pelicans, the groove Vince Carter has been in lately and more.


Postgame: Monta Ellis

Mavs G Monta Ellis weighs in on Wednesday's win over the Pelicans, how the team has been coming together lately and more.

DALLAS — Despite winning nine of their last 11 games overall and sixth straight over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Dallas Mavericks aren’t overlooking their Southwest Division rival as the two squads square off again Wednesday night.

Routing the New Orleans team on Jan. 10 with a 107-90 road victory to begin a home-and-home series and then having to escape off their own floor with a 110-107 win one night later, the Mavericks (35-23) know better than to get too confident entering Wednesday’s matchup. And for that reason, the Mavs prepared Wednesday morning as if they hadn’t already claimed three wins over the Pelicans (23-33) this season.

“As you can see, when we played them back home and then they came back with a force of vengeance, they gave us a good fight the last game and we expect the same thing,” center Samuel Dalembert confessed following the Mavs’ Wednesday morning walkthrough. “We’ve got to stand our ground, we’ve got to play our basketball and we’ve got to expect whatever is coming. We’ve got to be prepared for it.”

Facing the young Pelicans for a fourth time this season, the Mavericks will attempt to complete a sweep of the season series. The Mavs will also try to continue the momentum of an unbeaten three-game road trip, returning home in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings and focused on moving up over the course of the final 24 games.

“We’ve got to understand the importance of the situation with every game being important, and we’ve just got to work it hard from start to finish,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Wednesday’s outing. “We have a lot of respect for these guys because of how hard they play, and they play hard unconditionally even when they have a lot of their better players out. So, that’s how we’ll handle it.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center Wednesday night, hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. Dallas leads the season series 3-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

DALLAS – Returning from an unbeaten three-game road trip, the Dallas Mavericks will now try to continue building momentum in front of their hometown fans.

Claiming double-digit wins at Philadelphia and Detroit, the Mavericks (35-23) then scratched and clawed their way to a 110-108 victory in New York thanks to 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki’s game-winning jumper as time expired Monday night. They’ll now try to build off nine wins in their last 11 games, returning to American Airlines Center Wednesday night for a fourth showdown against a Southwest Division rival New Orleans Pelicans squad the Mavs have beaten six straight overall and looking to better their positioning in the Western Conference standings as the playoffs rapidly draw near.

“Honestly, if you look at the West playoff picture, it’s three games that we needed to have against teams that have a lesser record than us,” Nowitzki said while summing up the Mavs’ road trip. “We just needed to take care of those games and we did, even though (Monday night) was ugly. It could have gone either way, but the first two were pretty solid. Now, we have to go home for tough games. I think the rest of our schedule is pretty tough, and one game can take you from the eighth seed to nine and back to six. It’s crazy in the West, so we’ve got to keep on winning.”

The Mavericks now hope their winning ways carry over to their home hardwood, looking to sweep the season series with the Pelicans (23-33) while trying to maintain their postseason standing. Meanwhile, the Mavs will try to continue their offensive assault on opposing defenses after hitting a season-high 15 3-pointers in the win over the Knicks, averaging 115.7 points on 52.6 percent shooting during their road trip and returning home where they’ve reached triple digits in 10 straight games.

“Our approach is I think we’re taking it one game at a time,” said sixth man Vince Carter, who scored a season-high 23 points and knocked down seven 3s in the win over the Knicks. “We’re locked in at shootaround, locked into our game plan and doing what we’re supposed to do. And when we do that we’re a much better team.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center Wednesday night, hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. Dallas leads the season series 3-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting