Game 70 Recap: Mavs vs Pelicans

On Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks played the New Orleans Pelicans on the second night of a back-to-back. This is a huge game for the Mavericks as they still haven’t clinched a “seed” in the western conference with three games left on the season. The Mavericks are looking to get back in the win column in a huge matchup with the Pelicans.

On Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Memphis Grizzlies in the first game of this back-to-back. The Mavericks started this game with some rhythm but the Grizzlies came out of the gates absolutely on a roll as their offense was flowing. The Grizzlies were able to generate enough offense to take a 60-57 halftime lead and it was over from there as the Mavericks simply weren’t able to keep with the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies were able to finish off the Mavericks for a 133-104 win. Luka Doncic finished the game with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the loss. The Mavericks simply had nothing to match the Grizzlies’ effort as they were blown out by the Grizzlies. With the loss, the Mavericks record dropped to 40-29 on the season, as they couldn’t generate win that dropped them to the sixth seed in the western conference standings. With three games to go, the Mavericks still have a lot to play for as nothing is clinched just yet. The Mavericks are 1 full game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers to avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament”. The Magic Number to clinch at least a top-six seed for the Mavericks remains at 2, which means, the Mavericks must win TWO more games or have the Los Angeles Lakers lose TWO more games to officially clinch at least the sixth seed in the western conference standings. Remember, if the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, ALL end up with the same record at the end of the season, the Mavericks would hold the crucial THREE-WAY tiebreaker as a result of winning THEIR own division. These next three games will determine their fate into what seed they will get in the western conference. It doesn’t get any better than this, for a chance to avoid the “Play-In Tournament”, the Mavericks would need to finish these games strong.

The New Orleans Pelicans are coming into this game by going 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 115-110 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday to see their record drop to 31-38 on the season. The Pelicans are coming into this season with hopes of trying to make the playoffs and they’re are thin lines as they don’t have room for error. The Pelicans are currently 11th in the western conference, just outside of qualifying for the “Play-in Tournament”. This team is led by Zion Williamson as they look to survive and get some help from other teams to bump them to qualify for the “Play-in Tournament”. If their current trend continues they will have their hearts crushed as they will not qualify for the “Play-in Tournament” due to suffering too many losses.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks lost their last meeting with the Pelicans 112-103 on March 27th, 2021. The regular season series is tied 1-1, with the winner of this matchup would clinch the season series. The Mavericks previously swept on their regular season series last season 4-0 against the Pelicans. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 46-23.

The Mavericks started this game by only having JJ Redick (right heel soreness) be ruled out for this game while Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness) will be available to play. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Hardaway Jr, Porzingis, Finney-Smith and Powell as their starting five in this game. The first points in the game would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he nailed a jump shot while being fouled and would knock down the “AND-ONE” free-throw for the Mavericks to get this game underway. Welcome back Kristaps Porzingis! The Pelicans wouldn’t get their first points until the 11:05 mark as James Johnson drilled a three pointer to tie the game at 3-3. The Mavericks would reclaim the lead quickly as Kristaps Porzingis knocked down two free-throws to retake the lead at 5-3 with 9:52 left in the quarter. The Pelicans would then retake the lead right back after Naji Marshall knocked down the “AND-ONE” free-throw to take the lead at 8-5 with 9:18 left in the quarter. The game would be find its way to be tied after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down a jump shot to tie the game at 11-11 with 7:37 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:06 left in the quarter after the Pelicans took the lead at 13-11. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the game by making four of their first nine attempts while the Pelicans made five of their first nine attempts taken thus far. The Pelicans were able to generate a much quicker start than the Mavericks as the Mavericks were just settling in the game. The Pelicans were able to generate a quick 3-2 run to grab control of the lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr as he was able to convert on a driving layup to come within 14-13 of the Pelicans with 6:50 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to retake the lead after Dwight Powell knocked down a slam dunk to take the lead at 15-14 with 6:22 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to six points after Kristaps Porzingis knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 20-14 with 5:35 left in the quarter. The Pelicans were able to trim their deficit to two points after Wenyen Gabriel knocked down a three pointer to come within 24-22 of the Mavericks with 4:20 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control and take a 32-30 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he scored 12 points for the Mavericks. The Pelicans were led by Naji Marshall and Jaxson Hayes as they both scored 6 points. The Pelicans opened the game but the Mavericks had a better finish to this quarter as they were able to control for the majority of the quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 52.2% on 12-of-23 shooting from the field. The Pelicans definitely came ready to play as they weren’t going to make this easy for the Mavericks to win.

The second quarter would begin by having Luka Doncic nail a three pointer for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Pelicans would call a timeout with 10:15 left in the quarter after the Mavericks extended their lead to 42-30. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making four of their first five attempts while the Pelicans haven’t made a single shot thus far. The Mavericks were able to generate a 10-run to open the quarter as their offense was clicking by making good quality shots. You couldn’t of asked for the Mavericks to get off to a better than this as it seemed like everything was going down thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Pelicans turned to Jaxson Hayes as he was able to convert on a “tip-in” shot to give the Pelicans their first points in the quarter and come within 42-32 of the Mavericks with 10:02 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to fifteen points after Willie Cauley-Stein knocked down the “AND-ONE” free-throw to extend their lead to 47-32 with 9:17 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to twenty-one points after Luka Doncic knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 56-35 with 7:27 left in the quarter. The Pelicans would call a timeout with 6:48 left in the quarter after the Mavericks extended their lead to 58-35. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were absolutely cooking in this quarter as they were on a 26-5 run to open the quarter. Everything was falling down for the Mavericks as they were feeling it by getting some good quality offense. The Pelicans had major issues with their offense as they couldn’t get their offense going in the quarter which benefited the Mavericks to getting this spectacular start. Coming out of the timeout, the Pelicans turned to Eric Bledsoe as he was able to convert on a floating jump shot to come within 58-37 of the Mavericks with 6:35 left in the quarter. To this into perspective on how this game was going, the Mavericks had just reached the 60-point mark while the Pelicans were struggling to break the 40-point mark in the game thus far. If the Pelicans don’t draw something up with their offense, this game would reach “blowout territory” very quickly. The Pelicans were able to trim their deficit to seventeen points after Eric Bledsoe knocked down the “AND-ONE” free-throw to come within 63-46 of the Mavericks with 4:20 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 77-58 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 21 points for the Mavericks. The Pelicans were led by Eric Bledsoe as he scored 15 points. This quarter was simply dominated by the Mavericks as their offense was cooking for the majority of the quarter. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 58% on 29-of-50 shooting from the field. The Mavericks’ 77 points in the first half is tied for the most they have scored in a first half this season. The Mavericks scored 45 points in the quarter which is the most they have scored in any quarter this season. If the Mavericks continue to play like this then maybe they will be able to rest their starters in the fourth quarter, depending if they could reach “blowout territory” in the second half.

Coming out of the half, the Mavericks were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Dwight Powell nail a alley-oop dunk to take a 79-58 lead. Willy Hernangomez was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Pelicans as he nailed a driving layup with 11:19 left in the quarter to come within 79-60 of the Mavericks. The Pelicans would call a timeout with 9:45 left in the quarter after the Mavericks extended their lead to 87-62. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making four of their first seven attempts while the Pelicans made just two of their first three attempts taken thus far. The Mavericks were able to keep their offense rolling from the second quarter as they had a fabulous start by opening the quarter on a 10-4 run. The Mavericks had plans to put this game away early so they could get some much needed rest in the fourth quarter. The Pelicans were doing everything they could but it wasn’t generating into points as nothing was going with their offense. Coming out of the timeout, the Pelicans turned to Naji Marshall as he was able to convert on a slam dunk to come within 87-64 of the Mavericks with 9:26 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to break the 90-point mark in the game after Luka Doncic found Tim Hardaway Jr on a alley-oop dunk to extend their lead to 91-66 with 8:26 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were showing no mercy on these Pelicans as the Mavericks wanted to put this game away for good in the opening minutes of the quarter. The Pelicans were able to break the 70-point mark in the game after James Johnson knocked down the “AND-ONE” free-throw to come within 93-71 of the Mavericks with 7:06 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 4:43 left in the quarter after the Mavericks’ lead “shrunk” to 95-75. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able continue knocking down good quality shots to keep the momentum in their favor. The Mavericks were shaping themselves up to put this game away soon if they could keep playing the way they have been playing thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr as he was able to convert on a three pointer to extend their lead to 98-76 with 4:18 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 111-80 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 33 points for the Mavericks. The Pelicans were led by Eric Bledsoe as he scored 15 points. Another quarter that was heavily dominated by the Mavericks as they were able to keep their offense flowing very nicely. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 55.4% on 41-of-74 shooting from the field. That should just about do it for the Mavericks’ starters as I see no reason why they should come out and play in the fourth quarter with this huge lead they have built.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Kira Lewis Jr nail a three pointer for the Pelicans to get this quarter underway. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 10:49 left in the game after the Pelicans “shrunk” the Mavericks’ lead to 111-86. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter without making a single shot on two attempts while the Pelicans made their first two attempts taken thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Maxi Kleber but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 111-86 with 10:33 left in the game. The Mavericks weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 9:00 minute mark by having Tim Hardaway Jr nail a floating jump shot to extend their lead to 113-91. Barring a magnificent scoring run by the Pelicans, the Mavericks were on their way to leaving the arena with a win.

This team looked refreshed and ready to go as the Mavericks were able to get their offense going for the majority of the first half by taking a 77-58 halftime lead. This was a important game for the Mavericks to win as they haven’t clinched anything just yet in regards to seeding in the western conference standings.

In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 125-107 to clinch the season series. The Mavericks record would improve to 41-29 on the season. Luka Doncic finished the game with 33 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in the blowout win. The Pelicans were led by Eric Bledsoe as he finished with 15 points and 4 assists. The Mavericks were able to get production from Tim Hardaway Jr as he scored 27 points in the win. With the win, the “Magic Number” to avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament” and clinch at least a top-six seed would come down to 1. The Mavericks are almost there to clinching a top-six seed in the western conference standings. This was a complete dominance by the Mavericks as they destroyed the Pelicans on both ends of the court. The Mavericks have now won five of their first six games.

The Mavericks will continue to stay at home as they will play the Toronto Raptors in the final game at the American Airlines Center of the regular season on Friday.

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