How it happened: The Mavs took care of business against a bad team that lost its lone star in the second quarter, when power forward Anthony Davis suffered a sprained left shoulder.
With the league’s leading shot blocker in a sling for most of the game, the Mavs pounded the Pelicans in the paint, where Dallas scored 52 points.
Monta Ellis led the Mavs with 23 points, seven assists and four steals, consistently creating havoc off of drives. Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 points in 27 minutes, and sixth man Vince Carter was even more efficient, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 21 minutes.
What it means: The Mavs climbed back into sixth place in the Western Conference standings with their win and the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the Chicago Bulls. Dallas improved to 36-23 with its 10th win in 12 games, putting the Mavs a season-best 13 games above .500. The Pelicans dropped to 23-34.
Play of the game: Carter finished a spinning drive to the hoop in the fourth quarter with a pretty southpaw scoop shot. After blowing by Tyreke Evans, Carter spun past big man Jeff Withey in the lane and lofted up a left-handed scoop on the other side of the lane. The ball spun around the rim before falling through the net, adding a little aesthetic touch.
Stat of the night: Jose Calderon made at least one 3-pointer for the 17th consecutive game, matching a career-best streak from earlier this season.