Mavericks look to stay hot vs. struggling Pelicans

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The Dallas Mavericks have beaten the New Orleans Pelicans twice already this season.

Both of those games were in New Orleans.

Now the Mavericks get another crack at them at home on Saturday afternoon.

Dallas started slowly at home this season, winning just two of its first five games, but now it has won five of its last six.

“We’ve turned it around at home a little after a really slow start and we have to continue with this,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “We have a home back-to-back this weekend (including Sacramento on Sunday), which is unique.

“We’ve got to play better at home. It’s still early. Things still have a lot of time to balance out. But we’ve got to do better here, no doubt about it.”

Recently the Mavericks have been doing quite well wherever they have played. They have won nine of their last 10 games.

They went 3-0 on their last road trip, ending the Lakers’ 10-game winning streak last Sunday before taking down the Pelicans 118-97 two nights later.

Luka Doncic had 33 points and 18 rebounds against New Orleans, playing just 28 minutes after sitting out the fourth quarter of the lopsided game.

Dallas, which also defeated the Pelicans 123-116 in New Orleans’ home opener, returned home to defeat Minnesota 121-114 on Wednesday night for its fourth consecutive win.

“We’re on a good streak now,” Doncic said.

Center Dwight Powell left the game against the Timberwolves because of a wrist injury. X-rays showed no structural damage and his availability for the game against New Orleans is uncertain.

The Pelicans are on a different kind of streak, having dropped seven games in a row after a 139-132 overtime loss at home against Phoenix on Thursday.

“You’ve just got to make the plays down the stretch, as we’ve talked about a lot of nights when I come out here,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. “You’ve got to be able to make those winning plays down the stretch. We weren’t able to do it.”

The Pelicans were outrebounded 51-40, and allowed six Suns players to score in double figures, led by Devin Booker’s 44. They committed 24 turnovers, leading to 29 Phoenix points.

On the positive side, Lonzo Ball had perhaps his best game of the seasons, finishing with 20 points and 11 assists. He was 6 of 9 from the field, including four of five 3-pointers, and hit all four of his free throws.

New Orleans fought back from a 20-point deficit in the third quarter to tie and had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Brandon Ingram missed a last-second jumper and the Pelicans were outscored 14-7 in overtime

They got back into the game by holding the Suns to 18 fourth-quarter points after allowing at least 33 in each of the first three quarters.

“We just locked in,” Gentry said. “We were guarding. I thought we were into the ball, and we did a good job on our rotations. All in all, we played the way we needed to in the fourth quarter to get back into the game.”

–Field Level Media

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