DALLAS — Momentum and matchup were both in the Dallas Mavericks’ favor going into Wednesday night’s return home.
Riding high off a three-game road sweep, the Mavericks beat New Orleans 108-89 at American Airline Center for Dallas’ seventh consecutive win over the Pelicans.
Dallas guard Monta Ellis scored 23, forward Dirk Nowitzki added 18 and guard Vince Carter added 17 points off the bench. The Mavericks (36-23) shot 51.9 percent, and outscored New Orleans 58-40 in second and third quarters to take control of the game.
The injury-ravage Pelicans (23-34) suffered another blow in the first half after losing forward Anthony Davis. New Orleans’ leading scorer and rebounder left the floor in the second quarter and didn’t return after spraining his left shoulder battling for an offensive board.
Losing Davis, along with 21 turnovers and dismal 8-for-19 showing at the foul line, spoiled 50.7-percent shooting and doomed New Orleans to its fifth straight loss and seventh in eight games.
Pelicans guard Eric Gordon lead the visitors with 19 points, guard Brian Roberts scored 17 and center Alexis Ajinca had 14 points filling in for Davis off the bench.
Dallas swept the season series over New Orleans 4-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 season. The Mavericks have also won 23 of the last 26 meetings between the clubs in Dallas.
The Mavericks were on their way to the latest win after extending their lead in the third quarter. Dallas went up double digits for the first time at 67-56 on guard Jose Calderon’s 3-pointer off the break.
The lead went past 20 points in the fourth, as Dallas cruised to a fourth win in a row. The Mavericks are 10-2 since beating New Orleans on Jan. 10. Three of those wins are over the Pelicans.
The Mavericks took a 49-43 lead into the locker room by finishing the half with a 22-9 run. Carter was leading all scorers at the break with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Gordon had 10 for New Orleans.
The Pelicans were hot early, shooting 50 percent (11 of 22) in the first quarter to take a 27-20 lead. Davis had six points, six boards and two blocks in the period before getting hurt.
NOTES: The Mavericks received a scare early when F Dirk Nowitzki left the game in the first minute and retreated to the locker room after appearing to hurt his shoulder. The All-Star was fine, returning to the game just minutes later. … Dallas’110-107 win over New Orleans on Jan. 11 ended in controversial fashion, as Pelicans G Austin Rivers appeared to get fouled on a 3-point try at the end the game. “We felt like he got fouled,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “It just didn’t bounce our way.” The league later said a foul should have been called. … Dallas came into Wednesday with an 8-2 record in February. Only three of the Mavericks’ 10 opponents in that stretch had a winning record.
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