The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 129-125 overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans
Mar 19, 2019Dwain Price
DIRK’S SPECIAL NIGHT: Well, that didn’t take long. Dirk Nowitzki needed just four points to pass Wilt Chamberlain and become the No. 6 all-time leading scorer in NBA history. Less than four minutes into Monday’s game, the 21-year veteran was able to collect those four points after connecting on his first two shots from the field. Nowitzki buried a 21-footer off a feed from rookie Jalen Brunson with 9:51 remaining in the first quarter. Then his magical and memorable 20-footer – via a pass from rookie Luka Doncic — near the top of the key at the 8:35 mark of the first quarter tickled the twine and vaulted the Mavs’ legend past Chamberlain. Nowitzki now has 31,424 career points to 31,419 points for Chamberlain.
LUKA’S FIFTH TRIPLE-DOUBLE: Luka Doncic posted his fifth triple-double of the season as he finished Monday’s game with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. That’s the most triple-doubles ever by a Mavs rookie, eclipsing the four triple-doubles Jason Kidd registered during the 1994-’95 season. Doncic’s five triple-doubles are also the second-most by a Mavs player in one season. The only Mavs player with more triple-doubles in a single season is Kidd, who dazzled his way to nine triple-doubles during the 1995-’96 campaign. As is the case with many players, Doncic benefited from the overtime session as he finished regulation play with nine rebounds and six assists, but picked up four rebounds and four assists in the overtime period to tie a neat little bow around his triple-double.
MEJRI A HUGE FACTOR: Center Salah Mejri hasn’t received numerous playing opportunities this season, but he sure made the most of the opportunity he received on Monday. The third-year veteran scored a season-high nine points and also grabbed seven rebounds and had one steal in 14 workmanlike minutes off the bench. Mejri was an efficient 4-of-6 from the field, including 1-of-2 from behind the 3-point arc. It was the fourth 3-pointer Mejri has made in his career, including the third this season as he continues to stretch his game beyond the painted area of the floor. It’s the second resourceful games Mejri has produced in the last four games. Back on Mar. 8 at Orlando, he finished with eight points, five rebounds and three blocks in 16 minutes.
RANDLE DOMINATES AGAIN: It’s something about playing against the Mavs that brings out the best in Julius Randle. Maybe it could be the fact that Randle is from Plano and he knows friends and family will be tuned into the game. Whatever the case, the fifth-year forward had yet another outstanding performance against the Mavs as he poured in a game-high 30 points, hauled in nine boards and was 14-of-24 from the field. Randle also scored on a dunk that put the Pelicans ahead, 110-109, with 5.1 seconds left in regulation following a crucial steal by former TCU standout Kenrich Williams. In three earlier games against the Mavs this season, Randle had 27 points and 18 rebounds, 23 points and four boards, and 22 points and 12 rebounds.
POWELL CONTINUES HIS IMPRESSVE RUN: Dwight Powell continued his very impressive run of late. In 35 minutes against the Pelicans, Powell produced 16 points, eight rebounds and two steals while providing the Mavs with his usual dose of high energy. Powell, who was 6-of-8 from the field, has now scored 10 or more points in 16 of his last 18 games after scoring 10 or more points in 16 of his previous 48 games this season. Some of Powell’s increased production is due to more playing time he’s been afforded after DeAndre Jordan was part of the Jan. 31 trade the Mavs made with the New York Knicks. In his last 18 games, Powell has averaged 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds while giving the Mavs some very valuable minutes at the center position.