NEW ORLEANS - The Dallas Mavericks defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-116, in their first road game of the season, to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2004. Luka Doncic notched the ninth triple-double of his young career, putting up 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while Kristaps Porzingis tallied 24 points and five blocks. Delon Wright also impressed in his second game as a Maverick, scoring 20 points off the bench to go along with his seven rebounds, three assists and five steals.
After getting off to a sluggish start in the season-opening win at home over the Wizards, the Mavs looked to change that in New Orleans. Despite Rick Carlisle tweaking the starting lineup, plugging in Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith for Delon Wright and Maxi Kleber, it ended up being more of the same for the Mavs, as they trailed 41-27 after one quarter.
Although Porzingis got off to a good start, scoring six early points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, Derrick Favors shredded the Mavs' front court in the first period, putting up 10 easy points, all coming in the paint.
“It was just a really bad start,” said Doncic. “We weren’t together in this game, and we didn’t play defense and it was a really bad start. (But) then we picked it up."
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Dallas completely flipped the script in the second quarter, however, outscoring New Orleans 45-23 in the period and taking a 72-64 lead into halftime with Porzingis continuing to carry the team on both ends of the court.
After both teams played a highly-competitive, highly-contested third quarter, the Mavs jumped out to a 103-93 lead early in the fourth, thanks in large part to the defensive play of Delon Wright and shot-making of Seth Curry. However, the Pelicans' hot three-point shooting continuously kept the Mavs from pulling away. ... until they did, in the late going, to the delight of Mavs watchers everywhere - including at The Maverick Bar "Blog-and-Pod” Watch Party.
Dallas will now turn its attention to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, as they try to stay undefeated.