Mavericks-Pelicans Preview

The New Orleans Pelicans kept their win streak going in their

first game without Anthony Davis.

They’re going to have to get used to his absence.

The Pelicans announced this week that Davis will likely miss

four to six weeks because of a broken left hand, and they’ll try to

overcome his absence again as they seek a season-high fourth

straight win Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks.

Davis, averaging 18.8 points and 10.2 rebounds, suffered a

non-displaced fracture of his fifth metacarpal when he hit his hand

on the rim in the first quarter of a 103-99 victory in New York on

Sunday. Even without their leading rebounder and second-best

scorer, the Pelicans managed to outlast Chicago for a 131-128

victory in triple overtime the next night to sweep a three-game

trip.

Jrue Holiday converted the winning three-point play with 2.6

seconds left, and Ryan Anderson scored a career-best 36 points

while helping New Orleans (9-8) move above .500 for the first time

since a 3-2 start to last season.

“We just put our heart and soul into a game like this and it

takes a lot out of you. I’m proud of how we came back and won this

one, particularly without (Davis) and Greg (Stiemsma),” coach Monty

Williams said. “This win was really about the heart and character

of the guys in that locker room.”

Dallas (11-8) showed some grit of its own in rallying from a

12-point deficit early in the second half Tuesday for an 89-82 win

over Charlotte. Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 of his team-best 25 points

in the fourth quarter and the Mavericks, losers in four of their

previous five, held the Bobcats to 15 points in the period.

“This was a big game for us with us about to hit the road for a

lot of tough games,” said Nowitzki, who was 1 of 10 from the floor

in the first half.

Dallas ended a stretch in which it played seven of nine at home.

The Mavericks, 2-6 on the road, will begin a four-game trip with

this matchup.

The Pelicans, 5-3 on their own floor, had a four-game home win

streak snapped in their most recent game at New Orleans Arena, a

102-101 loss to Golden State on Nov. 26.

The Mavericks have won three straight over the Pelicans,

including the last two in New Orleans. They won the final two

matchups in 2012-13 by a combined 30 points, including a 107-89

road victory April 14.

Nowitzki has topped 20 points in back-to-back games for the

first time since the first three contests this season. He’s

averaged a team-best 20.0 points during the three-game win streak

against New Orleans.

Mavericks leading scorer Monta Ellis is getting his first

opportunity to face the Pelicans while in a Dallas uniform. He’s

averaged 24.6 points in his last eight matchups with New

Orleans.

Anderson has topped 30 points in two consecutive games for the

first time, and is averaging 18.0 in his last five against

Dallas.

Tyreke Evans has averaged 23.0 points on 68.4 percent shooting

in his last three games versus the Mavericks but two of those were

during starts for Sacramento. Evans hasn’t started in any of his

first 17 games with New Orleans.

The Pelicans haven’t won four straight since Jan. 5-11 and

started that streak with a 99-96 overtime win in Dallas.