The New Orleans Pelicans saw their winning streak come to an end with a 102-93 setback at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the American Airlines Center on Monday night. The beginning of the third quarter is where the Mavericks took control as they improved to 40-22 on the season. After the Pelicans hit their first shot of the quarter, the Mavericks went on a 16-0 run that turned a 5-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
The loss snapped a 5-game winning streak for the Pelicans as they dropped to 32-28 on the season, including 12-18 on the road. They are now one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race.
Monta Ellis led the balanced offensive attack for Dallas with 20 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Rajon Rondo and Richard Jefferson also made big contributions against New Orleans. Rondo totaled 19 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor with five rebounds and two assists while Jefferson managed 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor with five boards. Dirk Nowitzki added 14 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks while Devin Harris and Amar’e Stoudemire chipped in with 14 points apiece off the bench.
Norris Cole paced five Pelicans in double figures with 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor off the bench. Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans also put up big numbers in the loss. Gordon finished with 18 points on the strength of a 4-for-7 shooting performance from beyond the arc to go along with five rebounds and four assists while Evans registered 17 points, seven assists and three rebounds. Alexis Ajinca had another excellent performance with the absence of Anthony Davis. He put up 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting with a game-high 12 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. Dante Cunningham chipped in with 12 points and four rebounds, but shot just 6-for-15 from the field.
Jimmer Fredette saw 3:54 of action during the first and second quarter and had two points on 1-for-2 shooting from the floor, including a miss on his only 3-point attempt. He added an assist on a 3-pointer by Luke Babbitt, but also had two turnovers. His only basket of the game came in the closing seconds of the first quarter when he got to the basket and finished at the rim with 0.4 seconds remaining to cut the Mavericks’ lead to 32-31.
Up next for Fredette and the Pelicans is a matchup with the Detroit Pistons at the Smoothie King Center on Wednesday night.