Final: Pelicans 111, Mavs 104
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
During the second quarter, the Pelicans built a lead that grew to as big as 39-32. However, Dallas responded with a 15-4 run to take a 47-43 lead behind some nice shooting and forcing plenty of turnovers and tough shots. The Mavs are at their best when they can use their defense to force turnovers and use their ball movement to get into quick, easy offense the other way. For the frame, Dallas scored 1.375 points per possession on 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) shooting from the field and 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Pelicans scored 1.27 points per possession through the first three quarters not just because of good shooting, but because they barely committed any turnovers — just five of them through three frames to be exact. Dallas has been one of the best teams at forcing turnovers in the NBA for many seasons now, but New Orleans was able to keep things tight on offense and avoid giveaways. If your opponent shoots 9 of 20 from beyond the arc in that same span, as the Pelicans did tonight, that’s a tough thing to overcome. The Mavs forced six turnovers in the fourth, however, to get back into this thing.
It’s difficult to quantify with numbers, but it looks like Seth Curry is getting a little more comfortable with every game he plays at point guard. Ever since Deron Williams’ and J.J. Barea’s returns to the lineup, Curry almost exclusively played the 2-guard spot, but once Barea was injured again, Curry slid back to the 1. It’s been a learning season for the 26-year-old, who hasn’t played much point guard in his career, but he’s starting to show flashes consistently at that position. That’s the benefit of playing young, relatively inexperienced guys: If they learn quickly, they can get better quickly.
The Mavs started Dirk Nowitzki at center again tonight, for the second consecutive game. It was another unique challenge for Nowitzki tonight, this time against Pelicans center Anthony Davis. The German didn’t guard him most of the time, however, as Dallas often switched everything, which many times resulted in Dorian Finney-Smith or Harrison Barnes defending the star big man. I would assume the Mavs will continue to do the same thing in the future, should the No. 6 all-time scorer continue starting games at the 5. Dirk finished with 10 points of 4-of-9 shooting.
The Mavs (9-22) play the Houston Rockets (22-9) on Tuesday at the American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.