DALLAS — After the drama-filled thriller that was Saturday’s victory at home, the Dallas Mavericks probably did not mind the relative bore that the end of tonight’s game turned out to be, so long as the winning result remained the same.
Luka Doncic scored 25 points in 33 minutes while the Dallas’ bench combined for 42 points as the Mavericks overcame a slow start to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 108-92 at the American Airlines Center. Both Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson scored 17 points as Dallas won its third consecutive game.
Doncic capped off last Saturday’s home win against the Boston Celtics with a step-back three-pointer from the left wing as the buzzer sounded to allow Dallas to escape with 107-104 victory. The fourth quarter once again made the difference in Dallas’ win, but Doncic was not on the floor when the decisive moments came. Hardaway and Brunson combined for 11 points during a 15-2 run for Dallas to start the fourth quarter, and Hardaway’s three with 8:15 remaining gave the Mavericks a 93-71 lead, effectively ending the competitive nature of the contest.
Brunson, who already is making a case for Sixth Man of the Year, has scored double figures in four consecutive games, including a career-high 31 last week in San Antonio that was the first of the Mavericks’ current three-game win streak.
“The confidence is always growing. Part of that just comes from my work ethic,” Brunsaon said. “That’s where my confidence starts. As long as I keep doing that for my team, my confidence is going to be there.”
The Pelicans were once again without Zion Williamson, who continues to recover from a fractured bone in his foot suffered in the off season, and were also without Brandon Ingram for a fourth consecutive game with a right hip contusion. New Orleans, however, was able to get an early jump on the Mavericks, building a 25=14 lead before ending the first with a five-point advantage.
Josh Hart scored nine of his team-high 22 points in the first quarter, while Jonas Valanciunas also scored 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Monday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 23 pictures in total.