Willy Hernangomez #9 of the New Orleans Pelicans goes to the basket against the Dallas Mavericks.

Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 113, Mavericks 106

Pelicans (32-34), Mavericks (34-33)

Dallas had whittled away nearly all of what was once an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter Wednesday. Then CJ McCollum took over. With Brandon Ingram sidelined in the second quarter due to an ankle injury, New Orleans’ most accomplished NBA player put the Pelicans on his back in crunch time, pouring in a series of vital baskets and dropping in a total of 16 fourth-quarter points, denying the Mavericks’ late surge. As a result, the Pelicans tied their season series with a Southwest Division counterpart 2-2 and moved within 1.5 games of Dallas in the Western Conference standings. “CJ was huge down the stretch of the game,” Pelicans head coach Willie Green said. “He made big shot after big shot. And that’s what it takes for us to have the opportunity to win games like this. Collectively, all of our guys followed the game plan to a ‘T.’ ”


Naji Marshall sank two free throws with 21 seconds left to make it a 112-106 margin, then Dallas guard Kyrie Irving misfired on a difficult three-point attempt. That set up Dyson Daniels for a made free throw at 0:13 and a three-possession advantage for New Orleans.


McCollum put the game away late, after Herb Jones figured prominently in New Orleans building a double-digit lead. The second-year wing was a factor at both ends of the floor, logging 37 valuable minutes and posting 14 points, nine rebounds, two steals and a block. “The guys rally around Herb,” Green said. “He’s a leader. Even though he’s quiet, his demeanor, his work ethic and the way he goes about his daily routine is an example for all of us.”

CJ McCollum on absolute fire in the 4th | Pelicans-Mavericks Highlights 3/8/2023


35-19: New Orleans advantage in the second quarter, turning a tie game into a 16-point halftime lead. Jaxson Hayes scored 12 of those Pelicans points, while McCollum notched 11.
41-30: Dallas advantage in the fourth quarter, making for some nervous moments down the stretch of regulation. The Mavs only mustered 24, 19 and 22 points in the first three periods.
32: New Orleans assists, the team’s most since handing out 33 at San Antonio on Nov. 23, the night before Thanksgiving.


As expected based on the season-long stats, New Orleans (sixth in NBA in board percentage) beat Dallas (27th) in this category, by a pretty dominant spread (49-34).

As expected based on the season-long stats, New Orleans (21st in percentage) committed more turnovers than Dallas (third), 15-9.

Some good work from the New Orleans bench, spearheaded by the active and energetic Hayes, who personified the hosts’ edge in hustle plays. The subs combined to score 37 points, led by Hayes’ 14 and nine from Marshall. Josh Richardson canned a couple three-pointers in his return to the club after being sidelined (personal reasons).

Dyson Daniels alley-oop to Jaxson Hayes | Pelicans-Mavericks Highlights 3/8/2023


An extremely vital four-game homestand conveniently features four guests who all have some significance in the West standings to New Orleans, but none more than the last of the four visitors. In a Twitter poll, fans voted for Tuesday’s game against the Lakers (52 percent) as the one they’re looking forward to most during this week of games in the Smoothie King Center. Perhaps a bit surprisingly, Saturday’s Oklahoma City game was next at 22 percent, followed by Wednesday’s opener vs. Dallas at 20 percent.