The New Orleans Pelicans hope the Dallas Mavericks can’t repeat their hot shooting.
Odds are the Mavericks can’t.
Dallas shot a franchise-record 68.7 percent from the floor in rolling past the host Pelicans 139-107 on Wednesday night. The teams will meet again Friday night in Dallas.
The Mavericks had lost five of six to close November and had struggled with their outside shooting before making 18 of 34 3-pointers against the Pelicans. Dallas hit 57 of 83 shots from the field overall.
“That’s pretty cool,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said of the record. “We’re happy it’s December. To break a record like that with so many great offensive teams that the Dallas Mavericks have had just shows the carry over, the talk, the response that this team has after the last outing or the last two outings.
“I thought everybody touched the ball. We got wide-open looks that we’ve been getting, and they started to go down for us.”
Luka Doncic scored 18 of his team-high 28 points as the Mavericks raced to a 41-23 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back.
“I think Luka was phenomenal,” said Kristaps Porzingis, who added 20 points and 10 rebounds. “He started off the game hot and then in sharing the ball. (He) started the team off right. Our energy was right from the beginning, and we shared it, because it was a chain reaction starting from him, and we got great looks.”
Dallas produced season highs in first-quarter points and total points.
“We came out with a lot of energy, and I think we moved the ball pretty good,” Doncic said. “The shots were open, so we knocked them down.”
New Orleans coach Willie Green said he expected a strong effort from the Mavericks in the wake of their 114-96 home loss to Cleveland two nights earlier.
“A lot of credit goes out to them,” Green said of the Mavs. “They just played with force, and we helped them by just not consistently executing. I thought our guys went out and tried, but this is one of those situations where you come off the road after an emotional win (against the Clippers, 123-104, on Monday), and we’ve just got to take more pride in protecting our home court.”
Now the Pelicans, who had won three of four before Wednesday, will try to bounce back themselves.
“That’s the beauty of being in the NBA — it’s a quick turnaround,” Green said. “We get to go to Dallas and play these guys again. Look, we don’t like what happened on our home floor, and we’ve got to do something about it.”
Brandon Ingram led New Orleans with 29 points, Devonte’ Graham scored 13, Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 12 and Kira Lewis Jr. had 11, but that wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with the Mavericks.
“I think the first thing we’ve got to do is make them feel a little uncomfortable,” Ingram said of the Mavericks. “They just felt good. It felt like one of those shoot-arounds where you’re just catching the ball and you’re in rhythm and you’re knocking down shots. We’ve got to get some of those guys off the 3-point line.”
The Mavericks are 2-0 against the Pelicans and can clinch the season series by winning Friday.
–Field Level Media