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Ellis’ late push helps Mavs top Pelicans

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Updated 12 months ago on
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DALLAS — Mavericks guard Monta Ellis came alive in crunch time, scoring 13 of his team-high 26 points in the final 4:20 to spark Dallas to a 112-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center.

Ellis took charge with an array of difficult jumpers and then a beautiful floater that swished through with 22.1 seconds left to put the Mavericks up by four. Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday, having a big night himself, made it a one-point game with his fifth 3-pointer. But Ellis calmly sank two free throws after being fouled with 13 seconds to go for a 110-107 lead.

On the Pelicans’ final possession, forward Ryan Anderson got off a good look from beyond the arc, but the ball spun out, ending New Orleans’ modest two-game win streak and dropping it below .500 again at 10-11. Dallas bounced back from a physical beating at Memphis on Tuesday to run its record to 17-7, beating the Pelicans for a second time this season.

“This was a game we definitely needed after a tough loss (Tuesday) night,” Mavs forward Chandler Parsons said. “We wanted to come in here tonight and protect our home court against a hungry team that’s playing well this year, so it was good to get out of here with a win.”

Ellis’ run started with a 3-pointer late in the shot clock over the long arms of Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis to make it 100-94. The lead swelled to eight before Davis put back a couple of rebounds to keep his team alive, but Ellis’ clutch play was too much.

“Well, coach put the ball in my hands and my teammates have confidence in me to make plays around this time,” said Ellis, coming off one of his worst outings with just two points against the night before against the Grizzlies. “I was looking to make plays and tonight I had it going in the fourth quarter.”

This was a disappointing loss for the Pelicans, who began a rugged stretch of nine games over 17 days that also features the Cavaliers, Warriors, Rockets, Trail Blazers, Thunder and Spurs.

“Our guys are frustrated,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “We won a big game (Tuesday) night, (then) we lose on the road. We had a chance to beat a really good team on their home floor and we didn’t get it done.”

The Pelicans trailed 25-15 after the first quarter and weren’t getting anything done offensively that didn’t come from the free throw line. They finally got moving when Davis checked back into the game with 6:54 to go in the half and Dallas leading 35-25.

Davis scored eight quick points to keep New Orleans from getting blown out, and then a combination of Davis, point guard Jrue Holiday and increased defensive pressure set the Pelicans up for a 26-12 closing run. They went into halftime with a 51-47 lead despite shooting just 42.9 percent from the floor compared to Dallas’ 50 percent.

That’s where the Pelicans’ ability to get to the line paid off. They were 13-of-15 from the stripe at the half while Dallas was just 2-of-3.

But a sluggish start to the third quarter and then hot shooting from Mavs guard Devin Harris pushed Dallas back in front.

“We’ve just got to defend,” Davis said. “We had a couple of lapses, especially down the stretch. We can’t afford to do that. We have to hang our hats on playing hard each and every night. We’ll be fine. We just gave ourselves a chance to win … we had an opportunity to tie the game. I think we played well.”

Davis finished with 31 points on 11-of-20 shooting plus 11 rebounds and a couple of blocked shots. Holiday poured in 30 points, 14 coming in the fourth quarter. But those two had little help. Tyreke Evans was limited to just eight points. Anderson was the only other Pelicans player to score in double figure with 13 points, but he was 0-of-2 from beyond the 3-point arc.

It was the opposite for the offensive juggernaut that these Mavs have become. Four players scored at least 20 points with Dirk Nowitzki, Parsons and Harris, a spark plug to get Dallas back into the lead early in the fourth, all scoring 20 points. It was the second time this season that the Mavs have had four players score 20 or more points in the same game.

Dallas continued its torrid 3-point shooting at 42.9 percent and managed to pull overcome a 45-29 rebounding deficit.

NOTES: Mavs G Jameer Nelson missed the game with a shoulder injury suffered Tuesday in a loss at Memphis. G J.J. Barea made his first start of the season. … Dallas G Monta Ellis is dealing with a sore right elbow that he hurt Sunday against Milwaukee, but he continues to play. Ellis hasn’t missed a game since April 26, 2012, when he was with the Bucks. … Coach Rick Carlisle coached in his 500th career game with the Mavs. … Dallas won for the ninth consecutive time against the Pelicans, including four in a row at home. Dallas won 109-104 at New Orleans on Nov. 1. … Dallas plays Golden State at home on Saturday. … New Orleans plays Cleveland at home on Friday. … Pelicans F Luke Babbitt had made the most of his opportunity in five starts stemming from Eric Gordon’s injury. Babbitt had hit 50 percent of his 3-point attempts in those five games, but was just 1-of-5 from deep against the Mavs … Pelicans G Gal Mekel made his first return to Dallas since being waived and picked up by New Orleans. The reserve point guard signed a three-year contract last season with Dallas.

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