Final: Pelicans 120, Mavs 105
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs scored 1.31 points per possession in 29 chances in the first half when the ball entered the paint either via drive or pass. When the ball didn’t get inside, Dallas scored just 0.52 points per possession in 21 chances. Old-school coaches always preach when your jump shot isn’t falling, find a way to get inside. Dallas found ways to get to the rim against the imposing Pelicans frontline featuring Anthony Davis, and the club had success when it got there.
The Pelicans opened the game on a 12-0 run. Seven of those 12 points came on fast break or catastrophic fast break chances. Teams score points too efficiently in the open floor, and limiting those opportunities has been a huge focus of the Dallas defense this season. Heading into the evening Dallas had allowed the fourth-fewest transition possessions per game in the league, according to Synergy Sports.
The Mavs clawed all the way back from a 12-0 deficit to within 37-36, but the Pelicans responded by scoring 18 straight points to go up 55-36. That second run extended to 30-6, bridging the second and third quarters. It’s said that there are three big runs in every NBA game, and whichever team gets two of them will usually win. New Orleans opened on one, the Mavs responded with one of their own, and then the Pelicans hit their stride.
Justin Anderson scored a career-high 11 points tonight. He appeared confident and decisive on the offensive side of the ball, which could help him earn minutes in the future. That’s especially important this week, as it’s a four-games-in-five-nights stretch for the Mavs. Minutes restrictions could open the door for Anderson to get more playing time in the immediate future.
Home-and-home matchups are a blessing and a curse for coaches. The plus side is you know every play your opponent is running, but the downside is the opposite is also true. But Dallas was able to catch New Orleans off-guard on one possession early in the game. Saturday night, the Pelicans beat the Mavs on a baseline out of bounds play where the inbounder leaked to the rim after throwing the ball in play. Tonight, the Mavs threw that play right back at the Pelicans, as Devin Harris found himself all alone under the basket and Chandler Parsons found him for a layup. Always nice to see new wrinkles like that brought into play… and nothing is sweeter than a little revenge, right?
Ryan Anderson was a huge offensive focal point in both of these matchups. New Orleans’ backup forward operated effectively in the post again tonight, using his height advantage against the Mavs’ smaller lineups to create favorable shots. Dallas had a hard time slowing him down once Davis left the game with a hip contusion, and Anderson had a lot to do with the result of this one.
The Mavs (3-4) play the Los Angeles Clippers (5-2) Wednesday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. Central. The game will be aired on both Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN.