The Dallas Mavericks ended a losing streak by beating the New Orleans Pelicans. Now the Pelicans would like to turn the tables on them.
Those teams meet for the second time in three nights when they square off in New Orleans on Friday. The Mavericks beat the Pelicans, 122-119, on Wednesday in Dallas, ending their six-game losing streak and extending the Pelicans' losing streak to five games.
"When you've lost six (in a row) and you're desperate to get a win, this is the kind of win you've got to have," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told his team's official website. "Every little thing that everybody did was needed. The most important thing is to get off a losing streak."
It was certainly a team effort. Rookie Luka Doncic had 21 points and 10 assists, falling one rebound short of his first triple-double, and DeAndre Jordan also had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds as six Mavericks scored in double figures.
Two of those double-figure scorers came off the bench and had a big impact in the fourth quarter. That's when J.J. Barea had 11 of his 18 points and Devin Harris had 10 of his 16.
Dallas, which outscored New Orleans 32-25 in the fourth quarter, had a season-high 13 blocked shots.
"We know they're a team that likes to attack the paint," Jordan told the Mavericks' team website. "They've got a lot of guys who can score the basketball in thee, so we just wanted to alter their shots and if we could block them block them, but overall just make it tough for those guys.
"It was good to get a win. It was good to come home and protect home court a little bit after a little slippage that we had."
The Pelicans would like to do the same after a four-game road trip that dropped their record to 4-15 away from home. They have lost 13 of their last 18 overall even though they have been outscored a by a total of just 19 points during that stretch.
"It's the same stuff," forward Anthony Davis told NOLA.com. "We can't close out a game."
Davis led New Orleans with 32 points and 18 rebounds, Jrue Holiday scored 25 points and Julius Randle had 23.
"We're in a position where we're struggling to close games," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry told his team's website. "You can see we are right there, but it doesn't matter, we can't be close ... we have got to find a way to win games.
"It's kind of what we've been going through, where we played good basketball, now we just have all kinds of trouble closing games. Had a couple defensive mishaps, when we really need to make the shots we didn't make them and they did."
The rematch Friday begins a stretch of three home games in four days for New Orleans. The Pelicans are 11-5 at home, including a 132-106 victory against the Mavericks on Dec. 5, Dallas' most lopsided loss of the season.
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