Postgame wrap: Pelicans 129, Mavericks 125 (OT)

Pelicans (31-42), Mavericks (28-42)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

DALLAS – On a night when longtime Dallas franchise player Dirk Nowitzki made some NBA history, lesser-known names like Kenrich Williams, Frank Jackson and Cheick Diallo helped New Orleans pull off a much-needed, comeback victory.

After Nowitzki moved into sixth place on the all-time scoring list – passing legendary center Wilt Chamberlain – Pelicans trailed for much of the night, including by 10 at halftime. Relying mostly on lineups featuring reserves and young players, New Orleans outplayed Dallas after intermission, then took over in the first few minutes of overtime.

Williams made a momentous defensive play in the final seconds of regulation, picking off a Dallas pass in the backcourt, leading to a Julius Randle dunk that put the Pelicans in front by a point. Luka Doncic then sank a game-tying free throw with 1.9 seconds to go, forcing an extra five minutes of basketball.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Jackson drained a dagger three-pointer from the right wing, giving the Pelicans a seven-point lead with 32 seconds left in OT. Jackson’s trey sent many Dallas fans to the exits after a long night of hoops. The Pelicans iced the victory with free throws from there, even though the Mavericks kept getting two-point scores at the rim.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

While Elfrid Payton notched a fifth consecutive triple-double – becoming just the fifth different player in NBA history to achieve that feat – Randle was instrumental in the fourth quarter, going on a prolonged stretch where he scored all of New Orleans’ points. Payton finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, benefiting from the extra five minutes, because he was just shy of a triple-double at the end of regulation. Randle deposited 30 points on 14/24 shooting from the field, also grabbing nine rebounds and handing out four assists.

FOCUS ON: YOUNGSTERS IN CLUTCH TIME

After Randle experienced some Achilles soreness late in the fourth quarter of Monday’s game, Alvin Gentry opted to go with an exceptionally young lineup for OT. With Payton as the most tested Pelican on the floor, his extra-time teammates were second-round picks Jackson, Diallo and Darius Miller, as well as the undrafted Williams. The group staked the Pelicans to a quick lead en route to winning the OT session 19-15. Jackson and Payton tallied six OT points apiece, while Miller added five.

“It was great,” Payton said of several young Pelicans getting a chance to succeed in a tight spot. “Especially after what happened (Saturday in a bitter home loss to Phoenix). To be in a similar situation, and to be able to prevail. There was a big deflection at the end of regulation by Kenrich; a big three by (Jackson) in overtime to kind of seal the game. Obviously Darius and Cheick too – I don’t want to leave those guys out. It was huge for those guys.”

New Orleans has had more than its share of heartbreak this season, entering Monday with the NBA’s second-worst record in clutch time at 14-26, but on Monday the Pelicans were extremely resilient. They trailed by seven points in regulation with 3:36 left, then went on a 16-9 spurt to force OT.

“I think these are the kind of games that are really great for the young guys,” Gentry said. “The plays that Kenrich made defensively, the shots Frank made, having Cheick in the last five minutes. All of those things I think are really valuable as far as growing experience. Like I said, it was great to win the game but we have to look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is that we’ve got to continue to get our young guys better.”

BY THE NUMBERS

11: New Orleans first-half turnovers, a problem area as the visitors went down by double digits.

6: New Orleans turnovers in the second half plus OT, with just one coming in the extra period. Payton had six assists and zero turnovers after intermission.

8-11-3-3: Williams’ stat line in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Perhaps most telling in terms of his impact was a plus-17 with the TCU rookie forward on the floor.

GAME RECAP: Pelicans 129, Mavericks 125

Dirk Nowitzki passes Wilt, Luka Doncic records a triple-double but the Mavericks fall in overtime to the Pelicans lead by Elfrid Payton's triple-double.

Game 73: Pelicans at Mavericks 03/18/19

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GAME RECAP: Pelicans 129, Mavericks 125

Dirk Nowitzki passes Wilt, Luka Doncic records a triple-double but the Mavericks fall in overtime to the Pelicans lead by Elfrid Payton's triple-double.
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:00

Pelicans-Mavericks Postgame: Alvin Gentry 3-18-19

Alvin Gentry speaks to the media following the Pelicans overtime win against the Dallas Mavericks
Mar 18, 2019  |  04:36

Pelicans-Mavericks Postgame: Elfrid Payton 3-18-19

Elfrid Payton speaks to the media following his fifth straight triple double against the Dallas Mavericks
Mar 18, 2019  |  01:27

Pelicans-Mavericks Postgame: Julius Randle 3-18-19

Julius Randle speaks to the media following a strong performance against the Dallas Mavericks
Mar 18, 2019  |  01:30

Frank Jackson's celebration of clutch three pointer

Catch a real-time reaction from Frank Jackson's dagger three pointer to extend the lead for the Pelicans in overtime
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:17

Julius Randle (30 points) Highlights vs. Dallas Mavericks

Julius Randle puts his head down and scores 30 points against the Dallas Mavericks to lead the Pelicans to a victory
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:00

Elfrid Payton Posts 19 points, 11 assists & 10 rebounds vs. Dallas Mavericks

Elfrid Payton puts up his fifth consecutive triple-double and leads the way to a Pelicans OT win
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:00

Elfrid Payton's court-side interview after his fifth consecutive triple-double

Elfrid Payton speaks with Jen Hale after the Pelicans OT victory and after the point guard's fifth consecutive triple-double
Mar 18, 2019  |  01:58

Frank Jackson with the dagger three pointer l Pelicans at Mavericks Highlights

Frank Jackson extends the lead for the Pelicans with a wing three pointer
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:09

Pelicans hustle play sends them to overtime l Pelicans at Mavericks Highlights

A huge hustle play from the Pelicans sends them to overtime in the American Airlines Center
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:39

Frank Jackson goes way way up l Pelicans at Mavericks Highlights

Frank Jackson leaps for an assist from Elfrid Payton and jams it home
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:13

Anthony Davis cleans up around the rim l Pelicans at Mavericks Highlights

Anthony Davis follows his shot and finishes at the rim
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:09

Ian Clark and Julius Randle give-and-go l Pelicans at Mavericks Highlights

Ian Clark gives the ball to Julius Randle and cuts to the basket to receive an easy assist and bucket
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:13

Ian Clark drains baseline runner l Pelicans at Mavericks Highlights

Ian Clark gets a Mavericks defender out of position and drains a baseline floater
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:11

Julius Randle cuts and slams l Pelicans at Mavericks Highlights

Anthony Davis finds Julius Randle cutting through the lane who goes up for the two hand slam
Mar 18, 2019  |  00:08
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