Postgame recap: Pelicans 126, Mavericks 109

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Pelicans (36-26), Mavericks (19-45)

DALLAS – Not long ago New Orleans’ objective focused much more on merely getting into the Western Conference postseason field. An eight-game winning streak has changed that.

The Pelicans took control in the opening quarter Sunday, built a double-digit lead, then put the Mavericks away in the fourth period, posting a victory that moved them into fourth place in the Western Conference standings. New Orleans has not finished better than a No. 7 seed since 2008, when it won the Southwest Division and netted the second seed.

Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic each enjoyed one of their best games of the season, combining for 54 points.

New Orleans has scored 120-plus points seven times during its eight-game win streak, with the only exception being a 118-point outing at Detroit on Feb. 12.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Rajon Rondo dropped off a scoop pass to Anthony Davis for a layup on the doorstep, giving New Orleans a 110-94 lead with 5:05 remaining. Dallas trailed by as many as 19 points but fought back to briefly make it a tight game, before New Orleans surged to regain a commanding advantage. The Pelicans began subbing in deep reserves with 2:41 remaining and owning a 20-point lead.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Holiday tied his career high by tallying 20-plus points in an eighth consecutive game, this time setting the tone for New Orleans with an aggressive first half. Holiday has also made at least 50 percent of his shots in seven straight games, a run of efficiency that has helped power the Pelicans’ winning streak. The starting shooting guard went 12/19 from the field, tallied a game-best 30 points and also handed out seven assists. Meanwhile, Mirotic contributed 24 points (featuring 6/11 three-point shooting), the most he’s scored since joining the Pelicans in early February. On a splendid night for the New Orleans bench, particularly in the first half, Cheick Diallo led that group with 13 points and 15 rebounds.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“Offensively we’ve been playing great. Sharing the ball, a lot of assists. Just fun basketball to watch. We are very excited with where we are right now, but we know we still have a lot of room to improve.” – Mirotic on the Pelicans’ high-octane performances and outlook

“We’re just playing fast. When we play fast, we’re able to score in transition, get a lot of easy looks. And we’re playing defense, which is leading to our offense. That’s what we’ve been doing.” – Davis (23 points, 13 rebounds) on why New Orleans has been able to generate such big scoring numbers during this win streak

“I think it’s just a lot of energy, some great energy from everybody. I think everybody knows each other really well, is very comfortable, and the ball has energy. We’re playing with pace. Every time (Rajon) Rondo gets on the court, I’m taking off (to run in transition). He’s the reason I got started today. He’s always pushing the pace. He’s kind of the head of the snake.” – Holiday on the Pelicans’ success and giving credit to point guard Rondo (14 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds) for the team’s style of play and emphasis

“It’s big. I don’t think people understand, that pickup was really good for us. He also sits down on defense (in a stance, trying to stop opponents). He guards 1 through 5, and not many guys can do that. That’s something I had to learn once he was already here. He’s a tough son of a gun.” – Holiday on Mirotic shooting well and also contributing defensively since arriving a month ago

BY THE NUMBERS

27: Positive plus-minus for Holiday. The Pelicans were outscored by 10 points when he was not on the floor, including a Dallas spurt in the second half that tightened the division tilt momentarily.

5/9: New Orleans fourth-quarter three-point shooting, which helped the visitors seal the win. The Pelicans won the final stanza 35-31 after the Mavericks held an initial edge.

47-43: Pelicans rebounding advantage, led by 15 from the always-active Diallo.

Pelicans-Mavericks Postgame: Jrue Holiday 3-4-18

Jrue Holiday addresses the media after the Pelicans defeated the Dallas Mavericks 126-109 for their 8th straight victory

Game 62: Pelicans at Mavericks 3/4/18

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Pelicans-Mavericks Postgame: Jrue Holiday 3-4-18

Jrue Holiday addresses the media after the Pelicans defeated the Dallas Mavericks 126-109 for their 8th straight victory
Mar 4, 2018  |  01:52

Pelicans-Mavericks Postgame: Anthony Davis 3-4-18

Anthony Davis addresses the media after the Pelicans defeated the Dallas Mavericks 126-109 for their 8th straight victory
Mar 4, 2018  |  01:16

Pelicans-Mavericks Postgame: Alvin Gentry 3-4-18

Head Coach Alvin Gentry addresses the media after the Pelicans defeated the Dallas Mavericks 126-109 for their 8th straight victory
Mar 4, 2018  |  04:13

Anthony Davis scores 23 vs. Dallas Mavericks

Anthony Davis scored 23 points and added 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks and an assist in a 126-109 road victory at the Dallas Mavericks.
Mar 4, 2018  |  01:53

New Orleans Pelicans Highlights vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Pelicans defeated the Dallas Mavericks 126-109 for their 8th straight victory.
Mar 4, 2018  |  02:54

Mirotic puts up 24 vs. Dallas Mavericks

Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points, going 6-11 from behind the arc. He added 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block in a 126-109 win at the Dallas Mavericks
Mar 4, 2018  |  01:39

Jrue Holiday with 30 points vs. Dallas Mavericks

Jrue Holiday scored a game-high 30 points on 12-19 shooting. He added 4 rebounds and 7 assists in a 126-109 win at Dallas
Mar 4, 2018  |  01:53

Pelicans hit twelve 3-pointers vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Pelicans went 12-26 from behind the arc in a 126-109 road victory at the Dallas Mavericks
Mar 4, 2018  |  01:52

Rondo with the sweet dish to AD

Rajon Rondo penetrates and finds Anthony Davis in traffic
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:21

Mirotic keeps the run going from 3

Nikola Mirotic has been on fire from behind the arc tonight, keeping the Pelicans run going
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:18

Cheick with the board and bucket

Cheick Diallo gets the and-1 off the offensive rebound
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:23

Rondo to Davis inbound alley-oop

Rajon Rondo inbounds to Anthony Davis for the slam
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:09

Mirotic runs the court for the scoop

Nikola Mirotic goes coast-to-coast for two
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:20

Mirotic blocks, Davis dunks

Rondo runs the court off the Mirotic block and finds AD for the alley-oop
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:11

Niko with the sneaky 3

Rondo with the smart box out to give Mirotic some room for the triple
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:15

Holiday with 13 point 1st quarter

Jrue Holiday scores 13 points on 5-7 shooting from the field
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:52

AD keeps it alive & gets the dunk

Anthony Davis and E'Twaun Moore keep the ball alive and end it with a slam
Mar 4, 2018  |  00:10

Pelicans Road Trip Preview: Dallas, Los Angeles, Sacramento

Jim Eichenhofer and Daniel Sallerson break down the Pelicans' three-game road trip starting Sunday at 6pm vs the Dallas Mavericks, then continues Tuesday at 9:30pm vs the Los Angeles Clippers on TNT, and ends Wednesday at 9pm vs the Sacramento Kings.
Mar 2, 2018  |  04:36