Mavs 109, Pels 104: The Mardi Gras Continues

Mavericks Mardi Gras? The Mavs had won seven straight against New Orleans. Make it eight straight, though as Postgame Power Points explains, Mavs 109, Pelicans 104 was tougher than it looks.



The Big Lead

The Dallas Mavericks had won seven straight against New Orleans and over the course of the lifetime of that franchise had joined the Spurs in feasting on it like no other: The Dallas/San Antonio combined record against New Orleans was, entering Saturday evening, 67-20.

Smile

In the end, Mavs 109, Pelicans 104 was tougher than it looks.

Defensively deficient

The Mavs started out playing average enough on defense, allowing 52 points at the halfway mark, but the Pelicans blew the door open in the third quarter. After allowing 26 points in each of the first two quarters, the Pelicans went off for an astounding 37 points, led by 16 points from Tyreke Evans (22 for the game) ... and what was once a 14-game Mavs edge was evaporated.

Fish made the note on the "Mavs Live'' postgame show that losing big leads was in last year's "team DNA'' ... so with 66-percent turnover on this year's roster, does the DNA have to be the same?

Dirk vs. Davis

Dirk Nowitzki vs. Anthony Davis. The savvy veteran versus the up-and-coming young talent. That was the premier man-to-man matchup coming into tonight, and it didn’t disappoint. At one point in the third quarter, Dirk drew a charge from Davis, who in return sent Dirk to the bench by putting him in foul trouble with five.

That was typical of the night of jousting.

Dirk finished with 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Davis finished with a game-high 31 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Dirk took two shots from the free-throw line, making one. Davis took an astounding 16 shots from the line, converting on 13 of them. Davis also had the decisive edge in minutes, playing nearly 43 minutes, while coach Rick Carlisle managed Dirk to just under 30 minutes.

'We could had that game,'' said Davis. ''We had the lead in the fourth. ... We have to make sure that we execute and focus when we face a team like Dallas.''

Center of attention

This game displayed the versatility that the center position has to offer for the Mavericks.

In Tyson Chandler, they have the reliable defensive presence that is able to score at a consistent level. In Brandan Wright, the Mavs have a energizer bunny who is able to get the crowd into games at home, and silence crowds on the road with his thunderous finishes. The stat lines for the two were fairly similar, 11 points for Chandler to 12 for Brandan Wright. Chandler had seven rebounds, to five for Wright.

And they, along with Aminu, continue to be a big part of Dallas' easy-buckets effort. Lob City, Texas, moved to New Orleans, with the alley-oops from Thursday's win over Utah not stopping. Early in the game, Monta Ellis fed Tyson Chandler for a sweet finish. Later, “Chandler Squared” was in full action with Tyson Chandler throwing down a lob pass from Chandler Parsons. To end the half, Wright finished on a lob from Devin Harris.

All of that helped Dallas' offensive waves, which, especially in the first half, was a continuation from the previous game against the Jazz. After one quarter, the Mavs had put up 32 points and were on pace for 128. At the halfway mark, the Mavs had scored a notable 66 points. The most intriguing part for that was the balance and depth. The leading scorer at halftime was Chandler Parsons, who had 15.

"This is not a team that will rely on one guy,'' Rick said. "If we do, we'll struggle."

Those Emmys!

Congrars to Fish and the folks who bring us "Mavs Live,'' the pre- and postgame on FOX Sports Southwest .. and they all just won Emmys for their work!

It helps "Mavs Live'' when the team is actually compelling. These Mavs are that ... and Dana, Bob, Fish, Mark Followill, Skin and Harp help make it so!

Who Deserves 'The Dirkie'?

You know the drill: After every Mavs win, for years now, DB.commers get to go here on DB.com Boards and vote for "The Dirkie,'' the Player of the Night.

Candidates? Chandler Parsons scored 20 points in this second straight win. Monta Ellis added 17 points. JJ Barea had some fun, played an efficient game, and racked up eight points on 4-of-7 shooting while dishing out three assists with a steal in his 13:37 on the night.

The Mavs' three-guard lineup looked pretty helpful against NO's good trio, and in fact, Eric Gordon comes out of this game with a bunch of zeroes.

Anyway, The Dirkie ... Go get you some!

Smile

The Final Word

''(The Mavs) are a great team. They did a great job guarding our schemes, following their scouting report and forcing us to take tough shots.'' - Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson.

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