How it happened: The Mavs pretty much put away their injury-depleted opponent with a 24-4 run that bridged the second and third quarters.
Dallas closed out the first half with a 13-2 spurt fueled by Monta Ellis’ eight-point scoring spree in a two-minute span. The Mavs carried the momentum into the second half, when they held the Pelicans to one field goal in the first six minutes while outscoring New Orleans 11-2.
Dirk Nowitzki, who was coming off his worst offensive outing of the season in Wednesday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs, bounced back by leading the Mavs with 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting while playing only 28 minutes. Ellis added 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting in a game that Dallas led wire to wire.
The Mavs set a new season high by making 14 3-pointers on 28 attempts, led by Nowitzki knocking down half of his eight long-range shots. Dallas shot 52.6 percent from the floor.
What it means: After losing three of their previous four games, the Mavs cruised to a convincing win to begin the home-and-home back-to-back against the Pelicans. Dallas improved to 21-16 to remain a game and a half in front of the Denver Nuggets for eighth place in the Western Conference standings. The Pelicans, whose injury issues put them in jeopardy of dropping out of the playoff race, fell to 15-20.
Play of the game: Ellis stripped Austin Rivers to start a fast break and finished it with a layup between a pair of defenders with a minute remaining in the first half. The bucket stretched the Mavs’ lead to 12.
Stat of the night: The Mavs improved to 3-7 (1-4 on the road) when Ellis and Nowitzki both score at least 20 points.