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On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks played the New Orleans Pelicans in the first matchup between Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson this season. The Mavericks are looking to avoid carrying the cold weather into the American Airlines Center as they want to remain hot with this three game winning streak. These are the two young superstars in the NBA as they play against each other in this much anticipated matchup. This is just a reminder to please stay home and avoid these freezing conditions in the DFW area if you can.
On Wednesday, the Mavericks played the Atlanta Hawks for the second time this season, looking for the season sweep. The Mavericks were struggling in the first half, trailing the Hawks 62-52 at half. Then the Mavericks were able to flip the switch as they came storming back to take the lead in the final seconds of the game. The Hawks had the chance to win the game but couldn’t convert as Danilo Gallinari couldn’t nail the potential game winning shot to win the game for the Hawks thus giving the Mavericks a 118-117 victory. The Mavericks were able to rally behind Luka Doncic NBA-leading seventh triple-double and Jalen Brunson clutch performance of scoring 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to give the Mavericks the victory. The Hawks were able to have good performances from John Collins and Trae Young as they combined for 58 points in the game but wasn’t enough for the win. With the Mavericks victory, they saw their record improve to 12-14 record on the season while increasing their winning streak to three games.
The New Orleans Pelicans are coming into this game by going 6-4 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 129-116 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday that dropped their record to 11-13 on the season. The Pelicans currently stand at 12th in the western conference as they try to fight for a bottom spot to reach reach the playoffs. Coming to this season, the Pelicans lost a lot of key players that include, Jrue Holiday and Derrick Favors to free agency or by trades. The Pelicans were able to offset those losses by acquiring players via trade that include Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe. The Pelicans want to give Zion Williamson, his first taste of the playoffs after they finished with the third-worst record in the western conference last season. They are in a much better position to do just that, if they can pile up some wins down the stretch of the NBA schedule.
Coming into this game, the Mavericks swept the New Orleans Pelicans season series last season by winning all four matchups. The Mavericks are 27-6 all-time at home against the Pelicans and would look to improve that record with this matchup at the American Airlines Center. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 45-22.
The Mavericks started this game by rolling out the exact same starting lineup for the seventh straight game that caused this winning streak. The first points of the game would belong to Zion Williamson as he slam it home for an easy dunk for the Pelicans to get this game underway. The first made basket from the Mavericks would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he nailed a three pointer to give them a 3-2 lead in the early stages of the first quarter. The Pelicans were able to block a Luka Doncic shot and in return made a 24-foot shot by Brandon Ingram to retake the lead at 7-5. Both teams jumped out to a quick start that resulted in them seesawing their time with the lead. Kristaps Porzingis made another three pointer to give him nine points already and give the Mavericks the lead again at 14-11 with 8:02 left in the quarter. Despite the Pelicans keeping up with the Mavericks pace, the Mavericks were a little bit better as Kristaps Porzingis made another three pointer to give him 12 points in the game. Zion Williamson would make a slam dunk that made it a 21-18 Mavericks lead and Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 6:28 left in the quarter as a result. Of the Mavericks 21 points, 12 of them belonged to Kristaps Porzingis as he was shooting the lights out of the ball by making four of five three pointers taken. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Kristaps Porzingis but couldn’t convert as he would turn the ball over. The Pelicans capitalized on the Porzingis turnover by tying the game by having Lonzo Ball make a 25-foot three pointer to tie the game at 21-21 with 5:59 left in the quarter. The Mavericks couldn’t take the lead after Kristaps Porzingis missed a three pointer which led the Pelicans the chance to take the lead and they did by having Zion Williamson slam it for a slam dunk to make it 23-21 with 5:15 left in the quarter. The game was once again tied as Jalen Brunson found Kristaps Porzingis for a driving layup to tie it at 27-27 with 2:59 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Pelicans took over by taking a 34-27 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he scored 15 points for the Mavericks. This was an electrifying first quarter as both teams came out strong but it was the Pelicans that came out on top. Kristaps Porzingis came out firing as he got off to a fantastic start, probably one of the best starts that he’s had all season, as he made 4 of 9 three pointers. The Pelicans were led by Brandon Ingram as he had 14 points in the quarter on two of three shooting from behind the arc.
The Pelicans started the second quarter by allowing Luka Doncic to make a driving layup to give the Mavericks their first points in the quarter but found themselves still trailing 34-29. The first points by the Pelicans in this quarter would belong to Kira Lewis Jr as he nailed a three pointer to keep their lead at 37-32 with 10:30 left in the quarter. This quarter would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 9 points so far for the Mavericks, to try to retake the lead. The Pelicans were able to offset the Luka Doncic hot start to this quarter by getting good looks on offense and remaining consistent. This game was living up to its hype as Zion Williamson and Luka Doncic were showing out in this one. The Mavericks were trying to tie this game up but the Pelicans were having none of that, as JJ Redick made a 25-foot three pointer to give the Pelicans a 50-43 lead with 7:20 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 6:29 left in the quarter as the Mavericks couldn’t stop the Pelicans momentum that had resulted in a 50-46 Pelicans lead. Of the Mavericks 19 points scored in this quarter, 11 of them belonged to Luka Doncic to give him 13 points total in the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Jalen Brunson and nailed a three pointer to make it a one point game at 50-49 with 6:24 left in the quarter. After the Mavericks blocked a Steven Adams shot, they followed that up by going to Jalen Brunson again and nailed another three pointer, this time resulted in them taking a 54-42 lead with 5:09 left in the quarter. The Pelicans would call a timeout as a result of the Mavericks taking the lead from them with 5:00 minutes left in the quarter with the score still at 54-52. Coming out of the timeout, the Pelicans turned to Brandon Ingram but couldn’t convert. The first points out of the timeout would belong to Eric Bledsoe as he hit one of two free-throws for the Pelicans as he was fouled to make it a 54-53 Mavericks lead. The first Mavericks points out of the timeout would belong to Dorian Finney-Smith making a three pointer to extend their lead to 57-53 with 3:18 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks barely held onto their lead by having Kristaps Porzingis drill a three pointer at the buzzer to take a 69-65 lead into halftime. This was the 10th time this season that the Mavericks made 10 3-pointers in the first half. The leading scorer in this game through two quarters of play would belong to Kristaps Porzingis and Zion Williamson as they both had 23 points for their respective teams. With Kristaps Porzingis taking the first quarter for the Mavericks, it was Luka Doncic’s turn as he led the Mavericks in the second quarter by giving them 15 points in the quarter. Both quarters ended up being a 15-point scoring effort by both Porzingis and Doncic. The weather might be cold in the DFW area but the game was not, as it was filled with tremendous hot shooting from both teams. If you wanted to melt the ice, just have one of these players stand on top of the ice and that would do it because these players’ shooting were on fire. This game quickly turned into Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis versus Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram as it lives up to its hype.
Coming out of the half, the Mavericks started the third quarter by going to Josh Richardson for a layup to give the Mavericks their first points in the quarter and extend their lead to 71-65. The Pelicans followed that up by going to Lonzo Ball as he nailed a 25-foot three pointer to come within 71-68 of the Mavericks with 11:18 left in the quarter. Kristaps Porzingis kept his hot shooting going as he drilled a 15-foot jumper to keep the Mavericks lead at 73-68 with 11:00 minutes left in the quarter. Luka Doncic would pick up his third personal foul in the game as he gets closer to being in foul trouble with 9:27 left in the quarter. Both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were exchanging turns making shots for the Mavericks and that’s exactly what you want from the duo. The Pelicans would call a timeout with 7:57 left in the quarter as a result of Luka Doncic making a 26-foot three pointer to give him 27 points in the game, also matching Kristaps Porzingis’ total too with 27 points as the Mavericks led by 85-78. Coming out of the timeout, the Pelicans turned to Steven Adams but couldn’t convert as he would turn the ball over which the Mavericks took advantage and went to Josh Richardson for a three pointer to extend their lead to 88-76. The Mavericks were putting on a three point clinic as they had four straight possessions with a three pointer to keep their lead intact. Kristaps Porzingis would join Luka Doncic in the 30-point club in the game by drilling another three pointer for the Mavericks for a 94-82 lead. The Pelicans would call a timeout as a result of these raining threes by the Mavericks with 5:16 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks had made 19 of 32 threes taken in the game that was good for 59.4%. The Mavericks made another three pointer while reading this sentence, just kidding. Coming out of the timeout, the Pelicans turned to Williy Hernangomez for a slam dunk off an offensive rebound to make it a 10 point game. Kristaps Porzingis would nail his career-high eighth three pointer made in this game to keep their lead at 99-90. The Mavericks would hit the 100-point mark by drilling yet another three pointer, this time came from Tim Hardaway Jr as he nailed the three pointer to give the Mavericks a 102-90 lead with 3:36 left in the quarter. This was quickly turning into a Kristaps Porzingis versus Luka Doncic as they both were competing with each other to see who would lead the game in scoring as Luka Doncic would make a layup to give him 32 points, 1 point shy of Porzingis for the lead. The Pelicans would call a timeout as a result of Luka Doncic with 2:29 left in the quarter trailing 106-93. Coming out of the timeout, the Pelicans turned to Kira Lewis Jr as he nailed a floating jump shot to come within 106-95 of the Mavericks. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to take a 108-101 lead into the fourth quarter. There was no such thing as a cold front in the American Airlines Center as both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were on fire as they combined for 65 points through three quarters of play. The game leading scorer through three quarters would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he had 33 points as Luka Doncic was there behind him with 32 points . The Pelicans were led by Zion Williamson as he had 27 points on 12 of 13 shooting from the field. If only the Mavericks could play like this for the rest of the season, that would be great and potentially save their season.
The Mavericks started the fourth quarter by having Tim Hardaway Jr draw an offensive foul on Zion Williamson to force a turnover on the Pelicans. The first points in the quarter would belong to JJ Redick as he nailed a three pointer for the Pelicans to come within 108-104 of the Mavericks. The Mavericks had their first points in the quarter by having Willie Cauley-Stein slam it for an easy slam dunk to keep their lead at 110-104 with 10:57 left in the game. The Pelicans were coming up empty on multiple possessions as their time to comeback in this game was shrinking due to the time remaining in the game. As a result of the Pelicans struggles, the Mavericks took advantage by sending Jalen Brunson to the free-throw line with 9:37 left in the game as he would make one of two to make it a 114-104 Mavericks lead. With over three minutes passed in the fourth quarter, the Pelicans only had four points as they were the ones that got hit by the cold front. The Mavericks would drill their 23rd three pointer as a result of Tim Hardaway Jr draining one to make it a 121-108 Mavericks lead. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:43 left in the game to tell the team to not blow the 121-108 lead for the reminder of the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr but couldn’t convert as he missed a 23-foot three pointer. The Mavericks better be careful as they put the Pelicans in the bonus for the reminder of 7:00 minutes of the game, which the Pelicans could use to their advantage by going to the free-throw line. Tim Hardaway Jr would make a driving layup to make it a 123-108 Mavericks lead. The Mavericks sent the Pelicans to the free-throw line as a result of their fouling issues as Willy Hernangomez nailed both of them to come within 123-110 of the Mavericks with 6:38 left in the game. The Mavericks again sent the Pelicans to the free-throw line as they can’t stop fouling, this time would be Brandon Ingram’s turn and would nail both of them to come within 124-112 of the Mavericks with 6:10 left in the game. Kristaps Porzingis was there to clean up a Luka Doncic miss to give him 36 points in the game and a 128-112 Mavericks lead with 5:20 left in the game. Luka Doncic was able to reach the 40-point club by nailing a two point shot to give the Mavericks a 130-114 lead and give him 41 points in the game as the next bucket he makes would give him a career high. That would exactly happen as Luka Doncic made a driving layup to give him a career-high of 43 points which resulted in the Pelicans calling a timeout with 3:49 left in the game as their chances of tying the game was slipping away as they trailed by 16 points. Coming out of the timeout, the Pelicans turned to Lonzo Ball but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer. The first points out of the timeout would belong to Eric Bledsoe as he nailed a three pointer for the Pelicans to come within 132-121 of the Mavericks. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 2:32 in order to try to freeze Eric Bledsoe as he had a free-throw to take to finish off the “three point play” as he made the bucket while being fouled. Coming out of the timeout, Eric Bledsoe would nail the free-throw to complete it, to come within 132-122 of the Mavericks with 2:32 left in the game. The Mavericks were in good condition of winning this game as long as they don’t foul to give any slight of hope for the Pelicans. The Mavericks would tie the team record of “most three pointers made in a game” by having Dorian Finney-Smith nail one to give them 24 three’s pointers made in the game and extend their lead to 137-124 with 1:47 left in the game. The Mavericks would break that record with Maxi Kleber draining the franchise record 25th three pointer made in a game in the final seconds.
This team looked like they were not phased by the cold weather in the DFW area as they thought the only way to heat up was to drain three pointers. There was no way this cold weather was going to be in the headlines as the Mavericks were too hot in the game. Give credit to Pelicans for trying to compete with the Mavericks but the Mavericks were just simply on another level.
In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 143-130. The Mavericks 143 points in this game is tied for the 4th most points scored in a regulation game in team history. The Mavericks record improved to 13-14 on the season as they extend their winning streak to four games and one game under .500%. Luka Doncic finished the game with a career-high 46 points and 12 assists to lead the Mavericks to victory as there was no way of stopping him. Kristaps Porzingis couldn’t keep up with Luka Doncic pace but finished with 36 points on eight of 13 shooting from behind the arc. Jalen Brunson won the “Defensive Player of the Game Belt” as a result of his tremendous effort on defense. The Pelicans were led by Zion Williamson as he finished with a career-high of 36 points on 14 of 16 shooting from the field that resulted in a loss. The Doncic-Kristaps duo finished with a combined 82 points in the victory. The Mavericks finished the game by making a franchise record of 25 three pointers as they shot the lights out of the ball. If only that could help warm the weather in the DFW area. Please stay home to avoid these terrible freezing conditions if you can. You can help the Dallas Mavericks become All-Stars by going to this link as they deserve to get some love as a result of Valentine’s Day approaching https://vote.nba.com/en?cid=nba:allstar21:institutional:nbacom:homehero:vote:global
The Mavericks are 4-1 in this 7 seven game home stand and will continue to stay at the American Airlines Center as they will host the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday for a chance to get back to .500% on the season.