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Sunday, December 10, 2023
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HomeSportsBasketballBanged-up Pelicans to host hot-performing Mavericks

Banged-up Pelicans to host hot-performing Mavericks


The Dallas Mavericks won their last game as they bounced back from a disappointing performance.

The New Orleans Pelicans will try to bounce back from a 0-3 road trip when they host the Mavericks on Sunday night.

Dallas coach Jason Kidd told his payers they were “soft” in a 127-116 home loss to Toronto on Wednesday. They responded by routing the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 144-126 on Friday.

“I think that’s the beautiful nature of this game — being able to respond the way we did,” said Kyrie Irving, who scored 27 points against the Clippers. “That’s what it’s about — to be able to not take it as much as a personal challenge — but a team challenge.

“We have to individually play our roles, but it’s a team game, and collectively we just knew in our hearts that we had to be better. I think we proved that.”

The Mavericks outscored the Clippers 47-18 in the second quarter to take a 77-51 halftime lead. Irving scored 20 of his points in the first half and Luka Doncic had 27 of his 44.

“We said before this game that we need to run,” Doncic said, “so that’s what we did.”

Kidd said his team was much more physical against the Clippers than it was against the Raptors.

“I thought everybody responded in a positive way,” he said. “I thought the guys did a great job of responding to that comment.”

Dallas is beginning a four-game road trip with two games against New Orleans in three days. The Mavericks hope to perform better on the road than the Pelicans did in losing to the Nuggets, Timberwolves and Rockets in a span of five days.

New Orleans took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter against the host Houston Rockets before falling 104-101 on Friday.

“They made plays down the stretch of the game in the last couple of minutes,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said of the Rockets.

The Pelicans took a five-point lead with 1:56 remaining, but Houston finished the game with a 9-1 run.

Fred VanVleet made consecutive 3-pointers to give the Rockets the lead and he added two free throws as New Orleans didn’t make a field goal in the final 2:54.

“The physicality picked up a little bit, that’s what it was,” said Brandon Ingram, who led the Pelicans with a game-high 31 points. “Our execution has to be better in the fourth quarter.”

New Orleans played without three injured starters — CJ McCollum (lung), Herbert Jones (bruised fibula) and Trey Murphy III (knee) — but all five players that started Friday scored in double figures.

Rookie guard Jordan Hawkins scored all 14 of his points in the third quarter as the Pelicans outscored the Rockets 31-16. Second-year guard Dyson Daniels finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

“The good part about tonight is Dyson Daniels got better,” Ingram said. “Controlling the offense, getting to the rim, making the right reads. We’ve got to help him out a little bit, too.”

The Rockets bench outscored the Pelicans bench 19-7, and New Orleans turned the ball over 18 times while Houston had just nine.

–Field Level Media

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