Pelicans-Mavericks Preview

BY foxsports • January 2, 2016

While they've been struggling on the road, the Dallas Mavericks are on the verge of their longest win streak on their own floor in two-plus years.

A visit from the New Orleans Pelicans would appear to give Dallas a prime chance to accomplish that feat.

The Mavericks look to win six straight in Dallas by extending their home dominance over the Pelicans on Saturday night.

Dallas (19-14) lost for the third time in four road games Friday with a 106-82 drubbing to Miami. The Mavericks shot 36.4 percent and went 7 of 31 from 3-point range following their stellar performance in a 114-91 rout of short-handed Golden State on Wednesday.

Dallas connected at 51.9 percent from beyond the arc against the Warriors - 51.2 overall - and hit a combined 48.3 percent of its 3-pointers while winning its previous four games.

"We couldn't hit a bull in the (butt) with a bass fiddle on offense. We had some shots that weren't going down," coach Rick Carlisle said. "I'm very disappointed because we have been playing very well. We've got to flush it and get ready for (Saturday)."

Carlisle's team returns from its brief trip to take on a New Orleans team that owns the Western Conference's worst road record (3-15). The Pelicans (10-22) are also 2-22 all-time in Dallas and have lost six in a row there.

That streak would have been at 13 if not for New Orleans' 99-96 overtime win Jan. 5, 2013. The Mavericks are seeking their first six-game home win streak since their 7-0 start in 2013-14.

The Pelicans have lost their past two overall games after winning four of six and were held well under their 101.7-point scoring average again in a 95-89 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

"We had great defense. We just didn't execute at the end," said forward Anthony Davis, who helped hold the visitors to 38.9 percent shooting. "We missed shots and a couple turnovers toward the end. That's what we've got to get better at: Executing down the stretch and making winning plays.

"It's frustrating but we've got to stay together. We've got to try to figure it out. ... We put in the work every day to try to get better. We play our (butts) off in the games. It's just not coming out the way we want."

The Mavericks and Pelicans split a home-and-home series earlier this season with Dallas winning 107-98 on Nov. 7. New Orleans won 120-105 three days later.

It appears unlikely that Dallas' Devin Harris will be available. The guard was forced to leave in the first half of Friday's game because of back spasms.

"I assume he'll be out for a while. I don't know how long," Carlisle said.

The Mavericks got Deron Williams back after his four-game absence due to an ailing left hamstring. The point guard had nine points and five assists without a turnover in 20 minutes off the bench.

Williams scored a team-best 19 points in the win over New Orleans in November with 16 in the second half.

The Pelicans' Ryan Anderson has averaged 23.0 points on 58.1 percent shooting and 10.0 rebounds in the two meetings.

The teams will finish their season series Wednesday in New Orleans.

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