The Dallas Mavericks (12-8) did something against the New Orleans Pelicans (9-9) that they hadn’t done all season long. They finished the sweep in a back-to-back series. Dallas, playing in its seventh back-to-back series had split five of the series and been swept once. However, with a 100-97 victory over the Pelicans, Dallas completed the sweep after beating the Charlotte Bobcats at home the night before.
How it went down: Although he was a game time decision once again, Jose Calderon was able to play and start for the Mavs for the second straight game. As they tend to do, Dallas jumped out early on the Pelicans. However their 27-24 first quarter lead didn’t last long as the Pelicans took over in the second quarter.
The Pelicans, behind seven points from Ryan Anderson, outscored Dallas 29-25 in the frame to take a one point lead into half time. Once again Dallas was ice cold in the third quarter as they shot a dismal 38.1% on 8-21 from the field. The Mavs, at one point fell behind by eight points. Luckily they were able to rally and only trailed by two after the quarter.
The fourth quarter once again saw a change in fortunes for the Mavs. The Mavs shot 47.1% in the fourth quarter, led by Dirk Nowitzki and his 11 points. For the second straight game, Dirk has taken control in the fourth quarter and led the Mavs to a victory. While this is a good luxury to have, it also begs the question as to why they get themselves in this position to begin with. Dallas has to figure out a way to stay out of these unfortunate situations earlier in the game. Against a team like Charlotte or New Orleans you can get away with earlier mistakes.
Inside the Numbers: Dallas won the game despite being outrebounded by 20 in the game. Besides giving up 58 rebounds, 18 of them were on the offensive glass. One of the funnier moments of the game was in the fourth quarter when Dirk and Shawn Marion were battling for a defensive rebound. Marion accidentally tipped the ball up and it went into the goal for the Pelicans.
The Mavs only had seven turnovers for the game. This is well below their average of 15.2 per game.
Impact Play of the Game: The Mavs, trailing by eight at 75-68, coming out of a timeout quickly erased the deficit by scoring eight straight points. The first bucket came on a Vince Carter three-pointer. The Mavs quickly took a six point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Step-Up Mav of the Night: Dirk Nowitzki
As previously mentioned Dirk showed his greatness in the fourth quarter. Dirk scored 11 of his 21 points in the final 12 minutes of the game. Dirk was also tied for the rebound lead with seven.
“We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to close out better in games. We’ve got to get some practice time. I mean, we’ve had no practices in who knows when. We’ve got to get healthy. … The good thing is, regardless of what happens on this road trip, and obviously I want to win all four, we have a chance to get a lot better as a team with practice and getting healthy.” – Mark Cuban
“I thought in the first half it was a little bit too easy. There were a lot of layups. Whether it was Gordon or [Al-Farouq] Aminu attacking us in transition or whether it was Holiday, I thought they got a lot of layups in transition. I thought in the second half we did a better job of getting back and making them come through us.” – Dirk Nowitzki
On Deck: The Mavs continue their four-game road trip on Saturday night as they play in Portland. The game can be seen locally on FSSW at 9 p.m. Central.