NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 26th (All times Eastern)
New Orleans Pelicans (23-33) at Dallas Mavericks (35-32), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks return home after a sweep of a recent road trip Wednesday night to host Southwest Division rivals, the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Mavs took all three road contests against the Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks. That sweep inched Dallas into the seventh seed in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
Monday's win in Madison Square Garden was ugly, but it was a win nonetheless.
Dirk Nowitzki's jumper at the buzzer lifted the Mavericks to a 110-108 win over the Knicks.
Dallas blew an eight-point lead in the final 1:37, but Nowitzki bailed the Mavs out when his jumper bounced off the backboard and then the front rim before falling through.
"Once it went up, I figured it had a chance. I wasn't quite sure it was going and then it actually went in. I didn't even feel like celebrating, it was so ugly," said Nowitzki, who finished with 15 points. "But we'll take the win and move on."
Vince Carter went 7-for-12 from long range en route to 23 points. Monta Ellis added 22 points and six assists and Jose Calderon tallied 20 points and six assists and Brandan Wright chipped in 12 off the bench.
The Pelicans are mired in a four-game slide, including two on the road. Wednesday's game opens a five-game sojourn where the Pelicans will play the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers.
New Orleans fell at home to the Clippers on Monday, 123-110.
Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 26 points and 11 rebounds but was hit with an inopportune technical foul down the stretch. Alexis Ajinca netted 19 points in the setback.
Anthony Morrow (13), Al-Farouq Aminu (12), Eric Gordon (10) and Austin Rivers (10) all scored in double digits in the loss.
The Pelicans shot 42.5 percent from the field on Monday, while the Clippers shot 51.8 percent and a blistering 57.1 percent from beyond the arc, where they made 16 3-pointers.
"They had one of their nights where the ball was going in for them," said New Orleans coach Monty Williams. "I was certainly not satisfied, but proud of the way our guys competed."
The Mavericks have won the first three matchups with the Pelicans this season and have taken six straight in the series. Dallas is 8-1 in its last nine at home against New Orleans and 21-2 in the previous 23 in Big D.
02/26 10:31:50 ET