Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Mavericks at Pelicans (12/5/18)
A look at three key numbers related to Wednesday’s game at the Smoothie King Center between Dallas and New Orleans (7 p.m. Central, Fox Sports New Orleans, WRNO 99.5 FM):
37: Career high in points scored by Julius Randle in Monday’s loss to the Clippers. Randle did many things well offensively, including also setting a career best for most three-pointers made in a single game, going 3/4 from beyond the arc. Randle – who did not sink a three-point shot until the 27th game of his NBA career with the Lakers – now has four games of multiple treys during the 2018-19 regular season. His 37-point eruption against Los Angeles’ other NBA franchise was the 11th time this season that he’s posted 20-plus points for the Pelicans, with him coming off the bench in eight of those instances. Randle was an excellent 15/24 from the field, the 13th time with New Orleans that he’s fired a minimum of 10 shots and made at least half of his attempts. Among all NBA players who’ve taken at least 300 shots from the field this season, Randle ranks third in shooting percentage (54.9), behind only Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic.
9-2: Dallas record since Nov. 10, the second-best mark in the NBA during that timeframe (coincidentally, New Orleans’ most recent opponent, the Clippers, sports a 10-2 record over the same period). The Mavericks definitely didn’t look like a Western Conference playoff contender when they started the season at 3-8, lowlighted by defeats to struggling squads Phoenix and Atlanta, but they’ve been red-hot over the past few weeks. Something appears to have clicked on the defensive end for Dallas, which has the league’s fourth-best rating since Nov. 10, allowing just 101.6 points per 100 possessions, via NBA.com. Prior to their 9-2 burst, the Mavericks were No. 24 in defensive efficiency, giving up 111.8 points per 100 possessions. By the way, New Orleans is 7-7 since Nov. 10, despite a positive net rating of scoring 3.2 more points per 100 possessions than it has allowed, because the Pelicans have lost several close games.
3.8: Tim Frazier’s assist-to-turnover ratio since taking over as New Orleans starting point guard Nov. 28 vs. Washington (34 assists, nine turnovers). Frazier actually had a 30-5 split in that category through Sunday’s game in Charlotte, but finished with four dimes and four turnovers in Monday’s tilt vs. the Clippers. Despite Frazier’s contributions, New Orleans still has plenty of room for improvement in taking care of the ball – the Pelicans rank 18th in turnovers since Frazier was elevated to the first unit, coughing up 15.3 per game. Coincidentally, the Mavericks have averaged a near identical amount of turnovers during the same timeframe, at 15.0, but Dallas has gone 3-1, while New Orleans is 2-2 with Frazier at the controls of the starting offense.